For several hundred years, much of scientific advance has been about exploring human beings, including their actions and choices, in terms of mechanism — our bodies, our brains, physical processes. Research psychologist Michael McCullough believes that understanding our minds as mechanistic creates moral possibility. He’s led groundbreaking studies on the evolution and cultivation of moral behaviors such as forgiveness and gratitude. Arthur Zajonc is a physicist and contemplative, who believes that the farthest frontiers of science are bringing us back to a radical reorientation towards life and the foundations for our moral life.
is president of the Mind and Life Institute. He is emeritus professor of physics at Amherst College, where he taught from 1978 to 2012. His books include Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love and The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal.
is professor of psychology at the University of Miami, where he directs the Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory. He’s the author of Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct.