Richard Davidson, PhD

Richard J. Davidson, PhD

Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and
Founder and Director, Center for Healthy Minds
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Richard Davidson received his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University and has been at the University of Wisconsin since 1984.  He has published more than 440 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" published by Penguin in 2012. He is co-author with Daniel Goleman of “Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body” published by Penguin Books in 2017.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research including the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society.  He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association - the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was the founding co-editor of the new American Psychological Association journal Emotion. In 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2006. He serves on the scientific advisory board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011 to 2020 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 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 and methods to promote human flourishing, including meditation and related contemplative practices.