Dorsett Fellowship Lecture Series

The Dorsett Fellowship was established in 2001 when the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation, in conjunction with Research Corporation Technologies, made a significant donation in honor of Burt Dorsett ’53, establishing an endowed fund.

The purpose of the Dorsett fund is to honor the exemplary business career of Burt Dorsett by bringing practitioners of ethics (business leaders, physicians, engineers, etc.) and/or scholars of ethics to the Dartmouth campus. The Dorsett Fellows have provided public lectures, conducted guest lectures in college courses, participated in faculty working groups, and spent time pursuing their own research while on campus.

Nina Tandon

Body 3.0 and the Ethics of Building with Biology

January 27, 2020 at 4:30 in Haldeman Center, Room 041

Nina Tandon is at the cutting edge of science where sci-fi meets reality. She works on growing artificial hearts and bones that can be put into the body, and studies the new frontier of biotech: homes, textiles, and videogames made of cells. Named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, and one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers, Tandon speaks on the future of healthcare and technology. 

Nina Tandon is leading the charge of biology's industrial revolution. She is the founder and CEO of EpiBone, the world's first company growing living human bone for skeletal reconstruction. The benefits of this revolutionary stem cell technology, which has already been approved by the FDA for clinical trial, include simplified surgery, improved bone formation, and shorter recovery times for patients. "Being able to use your own cells means you're empowered to heal yourself as well," says Tandon, who also co-authored Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book cataloguing the latest biotech inventions "using nature's building block: the cell."

Nina Tandon believes that the era of engineered tissues—like, for example, a replacement kidney grown in the lab—is just beginning. Tandon shows us how we (and our bodies) have lived through most of history (Body 1.0), and then how we evolved into "cyborgs" with implants (such as pacemakers and artificial joints, Body 2.0). Now, Body 3.0 is all about growing our OWN body parts. For her Ph.D. thesis, Tandon grew cardiac cells that beat like tiny hearts. In this thrilling and eye-opening talk, she explains the process of growing tissue and transplants, and the future of medical science. With the help of manufacturing and information technology, we are on the verge of being able to grow human tissue—and Tandon is here to walk us through this unbelievably exciting era.

Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

April 15, 2020 4:30

Moore Theater

STEVEN PINKER asks the big questions about human progress—and sets out, in public, to answer them. In 2018's Enlightenment Now, Pinker argues that, despite the headlines, the world is getting better, not worse. (Bill Gates calls it "my new favorite book of all time.") In optimistic keynotes, full of sharp wit, common sense, and dazzling argumentation, Pinker makes the case for reason, science, and humanism. These Enlightenment ideals, in the face of tribalism, authoritarianism, and other modern dangers to democracy, are worth celebrating—and protecting.

"Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker's ever written. It's my new favorite book of all time"

— Bill Gates on Enlightenment Now

A provocative speaker, much in demand, Steven Pinker is a cognitive scientist who has been named by TIME as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. His keynotes have helped millions demystify the science behind human language, thought, and action. Pinker is a Harvard professor, a TED speaker, and a bestselling author, twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Highly respected in the scientific community, his work and opinions are extensively covered in the mainstream media, and have won a wide general audience. 

In his new talks—based on Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress—Pinker argues that, despite fear-mongering and political upheaval, the world is getting better: peace, prosperity, knowledge and happiness are on the rise. "The world is getting better, even if it doesn't always feel that way," writes Bill Gates, in a review of the book. "I'm glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture. Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker's ever written. It's my new favorite book of all time." The New York Times included the book in its year-end list of 100 Notable Books, and NPR and Esquire both named it as one of the best books of 2018.

Enlightenment Now is the follow-up to The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Had Declined, which was a #1 Amazon bestseller. Keynotes based on that book inspired audiences worldwide with its core message that, if you look at the facts, we are living in the most peaceful human era ever. The talks pointed the way to a better future for humankind. 

"The Better Angels of Our Natureis a supremely important book."

— The New York Times

Pinker's other bestselling books include The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature ("Required reading." – Los Angeles Times) and How The Mind Works ("A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear." – New York Review of Books). Pinker's acclaimed "language" series includes The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates LanguageWords and RulesThe Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, as well as The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.

A native of Montreal, Steven Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Previously, he taught at Stanford and at MIT. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has won a number of teaching prizes, and his research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has received numerous awards, including the Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.