Science & Society Initiative
Science and Society: Frontiers of the Mind, a three-year joint program with the Laboratory for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology at Stanford University Medical School, hosted lectures, webinars, and fellowships on the most recent discoveries of neuroscience for audiences in Iran.
Explore Past Events
"The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst" by Robert Sapolsky
We humans are a puzzling species. No other animal comes close to our capacity for violently harming each other; yet at the same time, no other comes close to our capacity for cooperation, altruism, or compassion. Most challengingly, the same motoric behavior can count as appalling or noble, depending on the context. This lecture considers the biology of our context-dependent best and worst behaviors. Crucially, true understanding requires a multi-disciplinary approach, as one must consider everything from neurobiological events over the course of seconds to evolutionary ones over the course of millions of years.
Robert Sapolsky is an extremely talented speaker and teacher whose course at Stanford University is one of the most popular classes on campus. He is the author of several works of nonfiction, including A Primate's Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, and his most recent book this year Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. He is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius award.
Interview with Dr. Robert Sapolsky
Dr. Sapolsky sits down with Dr. Josef Parvizi (Stanford School of Medicine) and Dr. Abbas Milani (Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies) to continue the discussion on “The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.”
“Evolution of Goodness: Empathy in Animals and Humans” by Dr. Frans de Waal
Does morality come from God, as many religions believe, offering a foundation of theocracy, or could there be biological explanations that have more to do with evolution than Divine design? In his lecture at Stanford in 2016, Professor De Waal discussed the sense of fairness in animals and reviewed expressions of empathy in animals.
Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates.
Interview with Frans de Waal
Dr. de Waal sits down with Dr. Josef Parvizi (Stanford School of Medicine) and Dr. Abbas Milani (Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies) to continue the discussion on “Evolution of Goodness: Empathy in Animals and Humans.”
"The Psychology of Democracy" by Fathali M. Moghaddam
Revolutions in Russia (1917), China (1949), Iran (1979), Egypt (2011), and a number of other societies have failed to bring about democracy. At the same time, democracy in the United States and other industrialized societies remains seriously flawed. The Psychology of Democracy (Moghaddam, 2016) explored some psychological processes that influence the speed and extent of collective and individual level changes toward 'actualized' democracy.
Dr. Fathali M. Moghaddam is a professor of Psychology and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science at Georgetown University. He is the Editor-in-Chief of “Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace and Psychology.” His most recent books include Questioning Causality (with Rom Harre, 2016), The Psychology of Friendship and Enmity (2013, 2 vols. with Rom Harre), and The Psychology of Dictatorship (2013).