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.
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 →