• Updated
29 January 2021

The Jean Nicod 2020 prize is awarded to Professors Leda Cosmides and John Tooby

Marie Gaille, Deputy Scientific Director of the Institut des sciences humaines et sociales (INSHS) has presented the Jean Nicod Prize to the laureates Leda Cosmides and John Tooby. Due to the health context, the ceremony took place virtually.

The Jean Nicod Prize

Since 1993, the Jean Nicod Prize has been awarded each year to an eminent researcher in cognitive philosophy whose work helps to shed light on the inner workings of the human mind, or whose research on human cognition has a philosophical scope. The Prize is awarded by the CNRS with the support of the Meyer Foundation for cultural and artistic development. The Lectures are organized by the Jean Nicod Institute with the support of the EHESS and ENS-PSL.

The laureates this year : Leda Cosmides and John Tooby

The 2020 prize is awarded to Professors Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, pioneers in the field of evolutionary psychology and cognitive science. After studying at Harvard and Stanford, they were appointed professors at the University of California in Santa Barbara where they direct the Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Their work on the adaptive character of social emotions, kinship ties, cooperation and reasoning biases has had a considerable impact in psychology and behavioral sciences. They are also known for their contribution to the conceptual foundations of evolutionary approaches in the Humanities through the publication of the seminal book of evolutionary psychology, "The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture", which is today one of the most cited books in psychology. In 2013, they received the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The 2020 edition of the Jean Nicod Prize

The prize-giving ceremony happened virtually on December 15th 2020. Due to the current health situation, the series of four lectures that usually follows the award ceremony will take place at the IJN located at the Ecole normale supérieure in June 2021. The lectures will then be published in a book in the Jean Nicod Prize collection at the MIT Press.



Dates to remember : 

  • Friday June 11 2021 : first lecture and cocktail
  • Tuesday June 15 2021 : second lecture
  • Friday June 18 2021 : third lecture
  • Tuesday June 22 2021 : last lecture