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Susan Pinker on the benefits of face-to-face contact

Anne McElvoy discusses communities, both actual and online, with psychologist Susan Pinker, online gamer Nicholas Lovell, poet Sam Riviere and philosopher Daniel Dennett.

On Start the Week Susan Pinker argues that face-to-face contact increases longevity and reduces the risks of illness. She tells Anne McElvoy that although new technology connects more people, it can often leave us more disconnected. However the writer and gamer Nicholas Lovell explains that online gamers have their own sense of community. The philosopher Daniel Dennett considers whether it's possible to create a robot that can rival the human brain, and the poet Sam Riviere has used and manipulated the results of search-engines to compose his new collection: 72 poems marking the 72 days of Kim Kardashian's marriage in 2011.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

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43 minutes

Last on

Mon 23 Mar 2015 21:30

Susan Pinker

Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist and award-winning newspaper columnist.

The Village Effect: Why Face-to-Face Contact Matters is published by Atlantic Books.

Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas Lovell is a games designer and a gaming enthusiast.

Nicholas is the author of The Curve and runs a consultancy, Gamesbrief, on the business of games.

Sam Riviere

Sam Riviere is a poet.

Kim Kardashian’s Marriage is published by Faber & Faber.

Daniel Dennett

Daniel Dennett is a philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist.

Daniel is giving a talk at the Royal Institution, Convergence: Information, evolution, and intelligent design, on Wednesday 25 March.


Role Contributor
Presenter Anne McElvoy
Interviewed Guest Susan Pinker
Interviewed Guest Nicholas Lovell
Interviewed Guest Sam Riviere
Interviewed Guest Daniel Dennett
Producer Katy Hickman


  • Mon 23 Mar 2015 09:00
  • Mon 23 Mar 2015 21:30