Featuring speakers Paul Ekman, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, UC San Francisco and Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley.
Wonderfest, the Bay Area Festival of Science, is held each year in the beginning of November. Enjoy fascinating discussions between world-class scientists on cutting edge topics, as well as other fun exhibitions. Visit Wonderfest.org and join.
Paul Ekman is a pioneering psychologist in the study of emotions and facial expressions, and was named one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century by the American Psychological Association. Ekman is most famous for his research establishing that nonverbal communication of emotions is not a cultural phenomenon but a universal one. Through his study of facial expressions, Ekman has substantiated Darwin's theory that human emotions are an evolved, biological response shared throughout cultures worldwide. On their importance in our lives, Ekman states, "Emotions can override…the more powerful fundamental motives that drive our lives: hunger, sex, and the will to survive." Ekman has also contributed to the study of microexpressions, involuntary facial expressions that occur when someone is attempting to conceal their true feelings. Microexpressions offer further evidence that emotional responses are indeed hardwired and universal. His system of reading these emotions gave rise to the crime drama television series Lie to Me, starring a character based on Ekman. In 2012, he spoke at the Being Human conference in San Francisco.
Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, is a social psychologist who focuses on the prosocial emotions, such as love, sympathy and gratitude, and processes such as teasing and flirtation that enhance bonds.
He has conducted empirical studies in three areas of inquiry. A first looks at the determinant and effects of power, hierarchy and social class. A second in concerned with the morality of everyday life, and how we negotiate moral truths in teasing, gossip, and other reputational matters. A third and primary focus in on the biological and evolutionary basis of the benevolent affects, including compassion, awe, love, gratitude, and laughter and modesty.
Professor Keltner is Co-Director of The Greater Good Science Center.
Theory of the evolutionary mechanism proposed by Charles Darwin as an explanation of organic change. It denotes Darwin's specific view of how evolution works. Darwin developed the concept that evolution is brought about by the interplay of three principles: variation (present in all forms of life), heredity (the force that transmits similar organic form from one generation to another), and the struggle for existence (which determines the variations that will be advantageous in a given environment, thus altering the species through selective reproduction). Present knowledge of the genetic basis of inheritance has contributed to scientists' understanding of the mechanisms behind Darwin's ideas, in a theory known as neo-Darwinism.
@wsoutherland Who is this us you keep talking about? It seems like a perspective from one developed country which is only a small part compared to the whole world. Resources on this one planet we currently live on are limited and not one single country can have the monopoly or bigger percentage than needed for the population's well being. Second we are one species that should be united because only united can we tackle the problems that will eventually arise.
@Sarah999 Genes themselves do not guarantee that person will be selfish, charitable or any other kind of characteristic that we could label good or bad. It is the environment that causes certain genes to activate. And since main part of our environment is created by our social currents thus the society as a whole in a general way puts a frame in which a person will most likely develop. For example in capitalistic society we see what kind of people succeed, and I personally don't like it as it is centered on acquiring materialism.
Thus I believe, nay I know, that we as a world society not divided by boundaries, language and cultural barriers or worse color of the skin but united with a common goal, a clear idea for the future, development and exploration of the universe within and universe outside could create a society that would promote kindness, respect, and love of our fellow human beings.
PS. Yes it sounds like NWO but they are blinding you with those ideas while setting up a system of total control
IMHO compassion is inherited and it is NOT true that familial compassion is a given.
With more and more people in the US especially being successfully narcissistic, selfish, manipulative & charming enough to procreate, and full of hate and anger for anyone that gets in their way (including family) . . we are creating an ever greater population of people that are that way also. It succeeds in our culture to be that way! Narcissism, psychopathy, sociopathy etc. works . . Look around!
and as long as it succeeds . . we will generate more and more people like that . . and that is what is happening . . regrettably.
The reason we don't have global compassion is because we struggle to control resources. As our populations rise it is inevitable that resource become strained. If it were not for human conflicts, we would not have technology.
That said, we are in a unique place in history where, thanks to technology, most essential resources are plentiful. We share our technology with the rest of the world at some risk that it will be used against us one day with the hope that it will engender good will and help us solve more pressing problems.
It makes sense that nature would statistically limit overly heroic or globally altruistic emotions.