The Greater Good Science Center
Scienced-based practices meaningful life
The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: not only do they sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, they help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, they have been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. And they have been without peer in our award-winning efforts to translate and disseminate this science to the public.
Founded in 2001, the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley (originally called the Center for the Development of Peace & Well-Being) sprang from the generosity and inspiration of Berkeley alumni Thomas and Ruth Ann Hornaday (pictured at left). The Hornadays found synergy between their personal interests and the research of UC Berkeley psychologists Dacher Keltner, Phil and Carolyn Cowan, and Steve Hinshaw. Believing that “you can’t have peaceful institutions without peaceful people,” the Hornadays wanted to create an interdisciplinary research center that would promote the science of inner peace and well-being. Together with the Center’s founding executive committee, the Hornadays imagined an organization that would identify the roots of healthy relationships and flourishing individuals, exploring qualities such as compassion, altruism, respect, trust, tolerance, and wisdom. Such a center would not only sponsor academic research but also disseminate that research to parents, teachers, and other practitioners, helping them apply scientific findings to their personal and professional lives.