Friday, 22 February 2013

Speech: Helen Fisher - Biology of the Mind (TEDxMidwest)

Why do we fall in love with the people that we do? Dr. Helen Fisher argues that the brain is one of the most powerful systems on earth, responsible for love through chemicals and complex thinking patterns. Her studies have identified both the smitten and broken hearted, uncovering the connection between how humans are drawn towards one another.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Speech: Richard Burnett - Mindfulness in Schools

Stop. Breathe. Pay attention. "Our mental health and well-being are profoundly affected by where and how we place our attention". In this enlightening talk, Richard guides through a short mindfulness meditation, and shares his experience of teaching mindfulness in schools. He reveals some of the amazing benefits being mindful can bring to the classroom and inspires the audience with simple ways to bring more awareness to how we respond to our everyday experiences.

Richard Burnett is co-founder of the Mindfulness in Schools Project. With Chris Cullen and Chris O'Neill, Richard wrote the highly-acclaimed 9 week mindfulness course, .b (pronounced dot-b), designed to engage adolescents in the classroom. He is a teacher and Housemaster at Tonbridge School, the first school in the UK to put mindfulness on the curriculum, an event covered by press, TV and radio in early 2010. Since then, thousands of young people have been taught .b in a wide range of educational contexts, from independent girls' schools like St Pauls to Young People's Support Services for those excluded from school. 

For more information on the Mindfulness in Schools Project go to

Monday, 11 February 2013

Speech: Jiddu Krishnamurti - In The Present Is The Whole Of Time

Washington D.C. 1st Public Talk 20th April 1985:

'In The Present Is The Whole Of Time'

This is not a lecture on any particular subject according to certain disciplines, scientific or philosophical. Lectures are meant to inform on a particular subject or instruct, but we are not going to do that. So this is not a lecture, nor is it a form of entertainment. In this country (USA) especially, one is greatly accustomed to being entertained, amused. Rather in these talks, this afternoon and tomorrow morning, we are going to talk together about the whole of our existence from the moment we are born until we die.

In that period of time, whether it be fifty years, ninety years or a hundred years, we go through all kinds of problems and difficulties. We have economic, social, religious problems; problems of personal relationship, problems of individual fulfilment, wanting to find one's roots in some place or other; and we have innumerable psychological wounds, fears, pleasures, sensations. There is a great deal of fear in all human beings, a great deal of anxiety, uncertainty, and a pursuit of pleasure, and also all human beings on this beautiful earth suffer a great deal of pain, loneliness. We are going to talk about all that together. And about what place religion has in modern life. We are also going to talk over together the question of death; and what is a religious mind and what is meditation; is there anything that is beyond thought and is there anything sacred in life, or is everything matter so that we lead a materialistic life?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Article: The More People Rely On Their Intuitions, the More Cooperative They Become

Original Article written for the Eureka Alert - Wednesday 19, September 2012

It's an age old question: Why do we do good? What makes people sometimes willing to put "We" ahead of "Me?" Perhaps our first impulse is to be selfish, and cooperation is all about reining in greed. Or maybe cooperation happens spontaneously, and too much thinking gets in the way.

Harvard scientists are getting closer to an answer, showing that people's first response is to cooperate and that stopping to think encourages selfishness.
David Rand, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Psychology, Joshua Greene, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Psychology, and Martin Nowak, Professor of Mathematics and of Biology, and Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, have published their findings in the September 20 issue of Nature. They recruited thousands of participants to play a "public goods game" in which it's "Me" vs. "Us." Subjects were put into small groups and faced with a choice: Keep the money you've been given, or contribute it into a common pool that grows and benefits the whole group. Hold onto the money and you come out ahead, but the group does best when everyone contributes.

The researchers wanted to know whether people's first impulse is cooperative or selfish. To find out, they started by looking at how quickly different people made their choices, and found that faster deciders were more likely to contribute to the common good.

Next they forced people to go fast or to stop and think, and found the same thing: Faster deciders tended to be more cooperative, and the people who had to stop and think gave less.

Finally, the researchers tested their hypothesis by manipulating people's mindsets. They asked some people to think about the benefits of intuition before choosing how much to contribute. Others were asked to think about the virtues of careful reasoning. Once again,