About the Greater Good Science Center

 

People

 
Staff Staff
Meet the people who run the Greater Good Science Center.
Editorial Board Editorial Board
Greater Good's board includes leading authors and scientists from around the country.
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Supporters Supporters
Read about the Center's founding donors and major contributors.
Fellows & Post-Docs Fellows & Post-Docs
The Center supports the work of extraordinary young scholars.

Staff

Jesse Antin Jesse Antin
Development Director

Jesse leads the Greater Good Science Center’s development and membership efforts. He brings a background in arts and conservation fundraising and is grateful now to understand the psychology behind why giving feels so good! Prior to joining the GGSC, Jesse was a fundraiser for the environmental law non-profit Earthjustice. This followed a career in classical music during which he won a Grammy as a countertenor with the vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Jesse graduated from Brown University and now lives in Oakland with his wife and two young sons, and enjoys tennis, backpacking, and singing with his new group Clerestory.

Christine Carter Christine Carter
Senior Fellow

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a sociologist and the author of the popular books The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work and Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. A sought-after keynote speaker, Christine talks to to executives, general audiences, and parents about how to live life from our “sweet spot”—that place of both power and ease. She has been quoted or featured in many major media outlets, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Dr. Oz Show, the TODAY show, the Rachael Ray Show, and PBS, as well as NPR and BBC Radio.

Christine received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she was a Senior Fellow, and her Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley. She has also worked as an innovation consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Predictably, Christine is happiest when she is with her friends and her family, especially her four kids, husband, and dog, Buster.

Dacher Keltner Dacher Keltner
Founding Director

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D, is a founder of the Greater Good Science Center and its director. After receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford University, Dacher (rhymes with “cracker”) has devoted his career to studying the nature of human goodness, conducting ground-breaking research on compassion, awe, laughter, and love. He is also a leading expert on social intelligence, the psychology of power, and the emotional bases of morality. He has written more than 100 scientific papers and two best-selling textbooks, Social Psychology and Understanding Emotions. More recently, he is the author of the best-selling book Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, and a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, The Compassionate Instinct.

Dacher is an outstanding speaker who has received several national research and teaching awards. Wired has rated the podcasts of his “Human Emotion” course as one of the five best academic podcasts in the country. He has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists, and his work is featured regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, and NPR. In 2008, the Utne Reader named him as one of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Jason Marsh Jason Marsh
Director of Programs and Editor in Chief

Jason Marsh is the founding editor in chief of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning online magazine, Greater Good, and the GGSC’s director of programs. He oversees the production of all editorial content, curates the “Science of a Meaningful Life” event and video series, and coordinates the public education efforts at the GGSC, where he has worked for more than a decade. In that time, Jason’s writing has explored everything from the psychology of the bystander to the reasons why he should finally start meditating.

Jason is also a co-editor of two anthologies of Greater Good articles: The Compassionate Instinct and Are We Born Racist?. Before coming to the GGSC, Jason was the managing editor of the political journal The Responsive Community. He has also worked as a reporter and producer at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, as a documentary producer, and as a kindergarten teacher. His first documentary, Unschooled, a profile of three families practicing the controversial homeschooling method known as “unschooling,” debuted at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. A graduate of Brown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Jason lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter.

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton
Faculty Advisor

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, focuses his research on the interface of culture, social cognition, and intergroup processes. He is interested in understanding how marginalization of one’s social group affects basic processes related to social identity and intergroup relationships. Rudy writes for Greater Good about cross-group relationships and the psychology of prejudice, and he is a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, Are We Born Racist?. He served as interim director of the GGSC from 2013-2014.

Elise Proulx Elise Proulx
Marketing Director

Elise Proulx is the marketing director of the Greater Good Science Center. Previous to joining GGSC, Elise was marketing and development director at San Francisco’s beloved literary festival, Litquake, and ran Kidquake in the Schools, a program that brought children’s book authors to public schools in San Francisco. She spent more than a decade in the worlds of book publishing and news media in both New York City and California and finds it satisfying to have circled back to Berkeley, where she received her B.A. in English Literature when post-structuralism was the hottest subject on Sproul Plaza. She also has a Master of Information and Library Science from San José State University, and lives in Berkeley with her husband, son, and two persnickety cats.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas Emiliana Simon-Thomas
Science Director

Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, where she oversees its fellowship program, Expanding Gratitude project, and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s “Science of Happiness” online course.

Emiliana earned her doctorate in Cognition Brain and Behavior at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation used behavioral and neuroscience methods to examined how negative states like fear and aversion influence thinking and decision-making. During her postdoc, Emiliana transitioned to studying pro-social states like love of humanity, compassion, and awe. From there, she served as Associate Director/Senior Scientist at CCARE (the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) at Stanford University, focusing on how compassion benefits health, well-being, and psychosocial functioning.

Today, Emiliana’s work spotlights the science that connects health and happiness to social affiliation, caregiving, and collaborative relationships, as she continues to examine the potential for—as well as the benefits of—living a more meaningful life.

Jeremy Adam Smith Jeremy Adam Smith
Editor & Web Producer

Jeremy Adam Smith edits the GGSC’s online magazine, Greater Good. He is also the author of The Daddy Shift, which the San Francisco Chronicle calls “amazing” and the New York Times praises as “a chronicle of a time that he predicts we will look back upon as the start of permanent change,” and co-edited the collection Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood as well as two Greater Good anthologies, Are We Born Racist? and The Compassionate Instinct.

His award-winning articles and essays have appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Nation, San Francisco Chronicle, Utne Reader, Wired, and many other periodicals, websites, and books. Jeremy has also been interviewed by The Today Show, the New York Times, USA Today, Salon.com, Working Mother, Nightline, ABC News, NBC News, the Globe and Mail, and numerous NPR shows, among others.

Previously, Jeremy was a 2010-11 John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University. Before going to Stanford, Jeremy was the founding editor of Shareable.net, and was senior editor of the print incarnation of Greater Good, which was nominated for multiple awards during his tenure. He has won awards for his writing from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Common Heritage Foundation, and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. He was a 2013 fellow with the Institute for Justice and Journalism and serves on the board of the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Jill Suttie Jill Suttie
Book Review Editor

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good‘s book review editor and a regular contributor to the magazine. She received her Psy.D. from the University of San Francisco, where she studied depression and body image issues in new mothers. Prior to joining Greater Good, Jill has worked as a psychologist in private practice, a college counselor and administrator, and a biochemist. She is also a musician who recently released her first CD of original songs. Jill lives with her husband and two children in Berkeley.

Vicki Zakrzewski Vicki Zakrzewski
Education Director

Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D., is the education director of the Greater Good Science Center. In her blog for the Center’s website, Vicki explores how the social-emotional skills of students contribute to their academic success and future ability to become caring members of society. She also provides science-based tips for promoting the social and emotional development of students, teachers, and administrators, as well as methods for creating positive school cultures. Her work has also appeared in ASCD’s Educational Leadership, Edutopia, and Huffington Post. Every summer, Vicki conducts the GGSC Summer Institute for Educators, a six-day intensive workshop that equips education professionals from around the world with science-based strategies, tools, and techniques to promote social and emotional well-being for themselves and in their classrooms and schools.

In addition to her writing and workshops, Vicki consults with organizations on how to incorporate the science of well-being into their work. Recent collaborations include the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow), the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers, the International School of Brussels on the Common Ground Collaborative curriculum, and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide—a follow-up book for children based on the movie Inside Out.

A former teacher and school administrator, Vicki earned her Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. In her doctoral research, Vicki spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for developing teachers’ ability to create caring relationships with students.

Editorial Board

Richard Davidson
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Frans de Waal
Emory University

Paul Ekman
University of California, San Francisco

Deirdre English
University of California, Berkeley

Amitai Etzioni
George Washington University

Owen Flanagan
Duke University

Robert Frank
Cornell University

Charles A. Garfield
Shanti; UC, San Francisco

Alfie Kohn
Author

Jonathan Kozol
Author

Nel Noddings
Stanford University

Pearl Oliner
Humboldt State University

Samuel P. Oliner
Humboldt State University

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison

 

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Most...

  
  • Four Great Gratitude Strategies

    June 30, 2015

    Here are the key research-based principles for turning gratitude into a lasting habit, drawing from the GGSC’s new website, Greater Good in Action.

  • Racism is Not a Mental Illness

    June 22, 2015

    Many people argue that the white man who killed nine black people in Charleston must be mentally ill. What does the science suggest?

  • Just One Thing: Forgive Yourself

    June 25, 2015

    Everyone makes mistakes. But it takes skill to hush your inner critic!

  

Greater Good Events

Mindfulness, Connection, and Compassion
International House, UC Berkeley
October 2, 2015


Mindfulness, Connection, and Compassion

A special day-long event with Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D., and Dan Siegel, M.D.


» ALL EVENTS
 
 

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

» TAKE A QUIZ
 

Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

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Greater Good Resources

 
 
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Book of the Week

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

» READ MORE
 
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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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