Prof.. Nick Enfield

Linguist, Thinker, Author, and Ig Nobel Laureate


Nick Enfield is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney and a highly original human thought and behaviour researcher.

He has done award-winning research on how language influences how we think and act, with special attention to cultural and cognitive diversity. His many books include “How We Talk: The Inner workings of Conversation” (2017) and “Language vs. Reality: Why Language is Good for Lawyers and Bad for Scientists” (2022). His 2022 book won a PROSE award for best (language and linguistics) from the Association of American Publishers. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American Mind, the Sydney Morning Herald, and many more outlets.

Nick directed the research team that won an Ig Nobel Prize for discovering that “Huh?” is a universal human word – perhaps the only universal word ever identified.

Nick has more than twenty years of experience speaking to thinking audiences around the world, both scientific/academic and general public, including Google, Integrity20 in Brisbane, TEDxSydney partner stage, DISRUPTED festival of Ideas in Perth, Museum of Contemporary Art, Woollahra Public Library, and many instalments of the Sydney Ideas series at the University of Sydney. Nick is highly experienced in media appearances (radio and television), MCing, and moderating on-stage panels.

Nick is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Royal Society of New South Wales, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


Talking Points
Overcoming the Biases and Limitations of The Mind
What is Truth, Why it Matters, and How to Talk About It
The Surprising Science of Conversation: What Makes Language Unique
Cognitive Literacy: How to Red-Team your Mind
Communicating for Humans