MADISON, WI (January 19, 2021) — Faced with challenging times, many people are experiencing firsthand how emotional states impact physical wellness. But is there more to those states than just how you feel? What impact does our thinking have on our lives and society? What does wisdom mean? How have our society’s perceptions of wisdom changed over the years? Can restoring wisdom and well-being improve our lives — and our communities?

On the next UW Now livestream, two UW experts discuss the many ways that wisdom affects our overall well-being. Each speaker will give remarks followed by separate Q & A sessions with the audience via live chat. The talk will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Featured Guests:

Richard Davidson, PhD, is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at UW–Madison. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds. He has published more than 440 articles and numerous chapters and reviews, and edited 14 books. He is coauthor of The Emotional Life of Your Brain (with Sharon Begley) and Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body (with Daniel Goleman). He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research, including the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association: the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. In 2006, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He served on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011 to 2019 and is a current member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Mental Health. In 2017, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and in 2018, he was appointed to the governing board of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style. He studies methods to promote human flourishing, including meditation and related contemplative practices, and frequently collaborates with the Dalai Lama on this work.

Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, PhD, is the Merle Curti and Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at UW–Madison. Specializing in U.S. intellectual and cultural history, her research and teaching interests include the history of philosophy, political and social theory, religion, literature, and the visual arts; the transatlantic flow of intellectual and cultural movements; print culture; and cultural studies. She teaches a range of courses on U.S. thought and culture as well as intellectual and cultural history from a transnational perspective. She is the author of The Ideas That Made America: A Brief History (Oxford University Press, 2019), coeditor of The Worlds of American Intellectual History (Oxford University Press, 2016), coeditor of Protest on the Page: Essays on Print and the Culture of Dissent since 1865 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2015), and author of American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

When: Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. CST

Where: The UW Now Livestream:

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