Skip to main content

The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2014

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | January 3, 2015

It’s time once again for our favorite year-end ritual here at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: Our annual list of the top scientific insights produced by the study of happiness, altruism, mindfulness, gratitude–what we call “the science of a meaningful life.” We found that this year, the science of a meaningful life yielded many … Continue reading »

The year’s most popular articles about the “science of a meaningful life”

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | January 3, 2014

At a recent retreat for the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, one of our advisors looked at a list of our most popular articles to date. “This is all over the place,” he said, referring to the diversity of topics and approaches. I replied that this is a feature, not a bug. The mission … Continue reading »

What does prejudice reveal about what it means to be human?

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | October 22, 2013

The questions raised by racism and xenophobia go straight to the heart of what it means to be human, for they involve dehumanization. Prejudice means we implicitly embrace a definition of humanity that includes some — usually those who most resemble us — and excludes others. That’s why Susan T. Fiske was invited to speak … Continue reading »

Beyond cuddling: Five surprising ways Oxytocin shapes your social life

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | October 18, 2013

It’s been called the cuddle hormone, the holiday hormone, the moral molecule, and more—but new research suggests that oxytocin needs some new nicknames. Like maybe the conformity hormone, or perhaps the America-Number-One! molecule. Where does this many-monikered neuropeptide come from? Scientists first found it in mothers, whose bodies flood with oxytocin during childbirth and breastfeeding—which … Continue reading »

Experiencing Art: It’s a Whole-Brain Issue, Stupid!

Arthur Shimamura, professor emeritus, psychology and neuroscience | July 27, 2013

We love art. We put it on our walls, we admire it at museums and on others’ walls, and if we’re inspired, we may even create it. Philosophers, historians, critics, and scientists have bandied about the reasons why we enjoy creating and beholding art, and each has offered important and interesting perspectives. Recently, brain scientists … Continue reading »

How love grows in your body

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | February 8, 2013

“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,” wrote William Shakespeare in his 116th Sonnet. “O no! it is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.” Nothing could be further from the truth, says the new science of romantic love. Love is, first and foremost, an emotion—but one that … Continue reading »