The Science of Emotions


The what, why, and how of our most human of traits

Emotions are the world’s universal language, driving human behavior and well-being in profound ways. From anger and fear to sympathy and love, why did we evolve such a mercurial set of emotions, and how can we foster the most beneficial among them? Join Chancellor Carol T. Christ and distinguished faculty and friends to learn more about our most human of traits. This exclusive event features Dacher Keltner, co-director of The Greater Good Science Center, who will discuss the evolution of emotions; Robert Levenson, director of The Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory, discussing our emotional lives as we age; and Charis Thompson, director of the Chau Hoi Shuen Program in Gender & Science, discussing strategies for surviving negative emotions associated with 21st century challenges. 


Carol T. Christ

Carol Tecla Christ began her term as the 11th chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley on July 1, 2017. A celebrated scholar of Victorian literature, Christ is also well known as an advocate for quality, accessible public higher education, a proponent of the value of a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, and a champion of women’s issues and diversity on college campuses.

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Dacher Keltner

Keltner, professor of psychology, serves as the director of the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and co-editor of the center’s magazine, Greater Good. Keltner’s research focuses on two time-honored questions. First is the biological and evolutionary origins of human goodness, with a special concentration on compassion, awe, love, and beauty. Second is the study of power, status, and social class, and the nature of moral intuitions.

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Charis Thompson

Chancellor’s Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies
Director, Chau Hoi Shuen Program in Gender & Science

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