Category Archives: science

Compassion as an innate human capacity

In the video below, Emma Seppala, Associate Director at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University reviews some of the latest scientific research on compassion at the Empathy in Society Conference last October in London.

Among the major points she touches on are:

  • measuring the real life impact of compassion interventions on subsequent behaviour;
  • compassion as an evolutionary adaptive development;
  • the incompleteness of the economic model of agents informed by rational self-interest; and
  • applications of compassion development and interventions in the work place.
(Hat-tip: Dorothy Della Noce)

Seeing sometimes really is believing

The McGurk Effect: “The visual information a person gets from seeing a person speak changes the way they hear the sound.”  The video below demonstrates this illusion with the sound  ‘ba’ that becomes heard as ‘fa’ when the movement of the lips is changed:

This phenomenon has implications for social interaction, including conflict interaction.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Visit Montreal in October

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is to visit Montreal on October 3rd and give a public lecture at the Bell Centre.  The event is part of a visit intended to promote the teaching of ethics in schools.

Tickets for the lecture go on sale today and are available at the Bell Centre box offices or by phoning the Bell Centre at 514-790-2525. Online purchases can be made here.

The shiftlessness of scientific paradigms

Sharon Begley, the science writer, has a must-read piece in the Newsweek issue dated January 12th that was published online on January 3rd.  It’s chiefly about the resistance to change of scientific paradigms.  Her starting point is a collection of essays in which scientists answer the question posed in the title of the book, What Have You Changed Your Mind About? Begley is disappointed that most of the changes reflect shifts in opinions or values — they do not comprise reversals of positions on contentious matters.

Rare, however, are changes of mind by scientists identified with either side of a contentious issue. No one who rose to fame arguing that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by sticky brain Continue reading