Thursday, April 19, 2018, 7 p.m.
Through his research and teaching, Dacher Keltner focuses on the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, beauty, power, social class and inequality. As professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab, he is a leading scholar in the study of emotion, including a new project on awe around the globe. Keltner also serves as faculty director of the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center.
Keltner is the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence (2016) and the best-selling Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (2009); he is also an editor of The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness (2010). Keltner has published more than 190 scientific articles, including seminal works on the psychology of awe (Keltner & Haidt, 2003), and is the co-author of two textbooks. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Times of London and Utne Reader, and his research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, NPR and the BBC as well as many other outlets.
In addition to his university work and research, Keltner has collaborated on projects at Facebook and Google, and served as a scientific consultant for Pixar's highly acclaimed 2015 film Inside Out, for which he helped revise the story emphasizing the neurophysiological findings that human emotions are mirrored in interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them. He is also featured in Tom Shadyac's 2011 documentary I Am.
Keltner has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists. A recipient of outstanding teacher and research mentor awards from UC Berkeley, Keltner has seen 20 of his Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows become professors. Wired magazine has rated the podcasts of his “Human Emotion” course as one of the five best academic podcasts in the country, and Utne Reader named Keltner as one of its 50 Visionaries of 2008.