Jodi Halpern Brings Message of Empathic Curiosity to Major South American Science Conference

Jodi Halpern Congress Futuro 2023 - The Power of Empathy in a Divided World

Jodi Halpern gives keynote at Congreso Futuro, Chile.

February 25, 2023

In January, [Kavli Center Steering Committee member] Jodi Halpern, MD, PhD, traveled to Santiago, Chile to give a keynote address to the Congreso Futuro, a preeminent South American science communication event, titled “The Power of Empathic Curiosity in a Divided World.” The talk was on the concept of empathic curiosity, which Prof. Halpern describes as a “cognitive pathway…that is resilient during conflict” and calls upon people—particularly those in conflict when “sympathy and compassion evaporate”—to bridge divides by becoming genuinely interested in the origin of another’s emotional position.

The audience, according to estimates provided by event organizers, numbered in the millions across various media platforms, and comprised scientists, policymakers, and members of the public with an interest in the implications of scientific research and discovery on politics and culture. This audience included Chilean president Gabriel Boric, with whom Prof. Halpern met to discuss early-career ethics training for scientists and physicians.

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The Greenwall Foundation