News & Events


Why to Be Good, How to Be Happy

Announcement | September 8, 2009

This Thursday, the Greater Good Science Center will be hosting "Why to Be Good, How to Be Happy," the third seminar in its "Science of a Meaningful Life" series and its first in Los Angeles.

We want to hear from those of you attending and give you a chance to connect with one another. Comment on this post to share a bit about your interests and reasons for attending, with an eye toward generating some fruitful discussion among like-minded people and colleagues. And please check this blog after the event to share ideas and feedback with fellow attendees. This space should be a resource for those of you looking for innovative applications of ground-breaking science.

What are you hoping to get out of the event?

Who would you like to connect with at the event, for what purpose?

How do you hope the presentations will help you in your personal or professional life?

We've heard from one attendee who'd like to start a regular discussion group for those interested in the topics explored by Thursday's seminar–happiness, compassion, altruism. Would this be something that interests you?

We look forward to seeing you Thursday!

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I am a non-practicing LCSW . . . my professional life is on hiatus while I raise my two young sons; both of whom went through early intervention for autism spectrum issues.  Every event, CEU or otherwise, that I attend serves the dual purpose of stimulating my intellectual curiosity and, hopefully, to provide me with new insight or tools to help my boys.  Regarding this seminar specifically, I have one son who naturally emulates the title and the other has a more cloudy disposition.  I’d like to gain some insight of the “why, and how” and bring that home to my son who struggles with happiness.

Erin | 8:58 pm, September 8, 2009 | Link


My name is Steven Marr and I hold degrees in Zoology and Art. I have worked as a food microbiologist and food chemist for the last fifteen years. I am now in transition. I am serving as the primary caregiver for my 82 year old mother while developing my interests in art and writing. I suffer from anxiety disorder stemming from a childhood trauma making it difficult to exhibit my art work. I heard Dr. Keltner speak at the Central Library and I have read his book. I am intrigued by his premises and would like to put them in action.
I have had some recent successes. I have had five exhibitions of my art this year, most of them juried exhibitions. I also just received a very nice rejection e-mail from the editor of “Parabola” magazine. He said my writing was insightful and well written but, because of the large number of submissions for the Fall Quarterly issue, my piece did not make the cut. He invited me to submit in the future.
Besides pursuing my interests in art and writing, I am researching the neuropsychology of creativity. To this end I have interviewed with Dr. Dahlia W. Zaidel, the author of “Neuropsychology of Art.”
I am looking forward to a stimulating and eventful day tomorrow.

Steven Marr | 10:35 am, September 9, 2009 | Link


In going through a tremendous loss, I have continued to work, to volunteer and try to make the pieces my life fit together.  How to make sense of it all, find another purpose, let go of the life I had planned, make the rest of my time meaningful.
My work is also at a major Childrens Hospital taking care of very sick children,adolescents and some adults and their families. This takes its toll on the caregivers and I am hoping to bring back some ideas to offer to coworkers in cultivating some compassion with each other, deal with loss, physically and emotionally exhausting times.

Eileen | 8:20 am, September 10, 2009 | Link


Just wanted to thank Dr. Keltner for an interesting seminar. I have two questions and would like to venture them here. Is there literature on the effect of psychological abuse on vagal tone? In a similar vein is the window of opportunity, the forty per cent slice of the pie that Sonja mentioned, for willed change in the happiness quotient affected by psychological abuse?
Thanks for your attention.
Steven Marr

Steven Marr | 11:32 pm, September 10, 2009 | Link

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