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2017 Washburn Award Recipient

Alison Gopnik, PhD

Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley

Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has taught since 1988. She received her BA from McGill University and her PhD from Oxford University. She is a world leader in cognitive science, particularly the study of children's learning and development. She is the author of over 100 journal articles and several books, including the bestselling and critically acclaimed popular books The Scientist in the Crib (William Morrow, 1999), The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us about Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009), and The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016). She is a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She writes the Mind and Matter science column for the Wall Street Journal. She has also written widely about cognitive science and psychology for The New Yorker, Science, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books, New Scientist, and Slate, among others. She has frequently appeared on TV and radio, including The Charlie Rose Show and The Colbert Report. Her TED talk has been seen over 2.75 million times. She has three sons and three grandchildren and lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Alvy Ray Smith.