#37: Susan Goldin-Meadow on Being a World-Class Listener
This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Susan Goldin-Meadow is the 2021 recipient for the Rumelhart prize, the highest award in cognitive science. She has amassed an amazing body of research throughout her career. It centers on gesture, and how our bodies integrate into our linguistic communication. We touch on a lot of her greatest research hits in this episode. Something she said that stood out to me was about how she mentors her many students. She sets them on a research project to get them going, then listens to how they talk about it, really listens. In a sense, this kind of deep, empathic, multi-faceted listening is what Susan has been doing her entire career. She listens to things the rest of us seem not to hear -- from gestures in the deaf children to the proclivities of her students.
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