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.