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In the last thirty years there's been a revolution in scientific understanding of babies and young children, a revolution that's also transformed understanding of human nature itself.

In this talk, Alison Gopnik outlines some of the new discoveries and their implications for the way we think about young children and ourselves. Gopnik shows that childhood -- with its long period of helplessness -- is responsible for our uniquely human consciousness and our ability to learn, imagine and love.

Alison Gopnik received her BA from McGill University and her PhD from Oxford University. She is the author of over 100 articles in the academic and popular press and several books including Words, Thoughts and Theories (with Andrew Meltzoff), The Scientist in the Crib (with Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl), and The Philosophical Baby; What Children's Minds Tell Us About Love, Truth and the Meaning of Life.

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