The Science of Compassion

Broadcast on July 07, 2015
With Dr. James Doty

This session with Dr. Doty will explore the underlying neuroscience of why compassion is critical to our health and well-being, and how it is critical for the survival of our species.

For more resources on putting compassion into action and a summary of the entire Global Compassion Summit, please visit

Dr. James Doty

Dir. of the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

James R. Doty, M.D. is the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He collaborates with scientists from a number of disciplines examining the neural, social and moral bases for compassion and altruism. He is also a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, as well as an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

As a philanthropist, Dr. Doty supports a number of charitable organizations supporting peace initiatives and providing healthcare throughout the world. He also supports a variety of research initiatives and has provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities including Stanford University and Tulane University School of Medicine, his Alma Mater. He serves on the Board of Governors of Tulane University School of Medicine. He also serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations and is Vice-chair of the Charter for Compassion International and is a member of the Senior Advisory Board of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute. 

Dr. Doty is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discovery the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, now available in over twenty languages. He is also the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science. His work has been cited in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and a variety of publications and media throughout the world.