Life & Science



Questions about the difference between empathy and compassion, or about whether compassion can be trained, are now answered by a newly published eBook and film. A Christmas Treat from Tania Singer and the DLD Team.

Edited by Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, the book explains how mental training transforms the human brain, and that compassion can reduce pain. It summarises fascinating results of the science of compassion, but also describes training programmes and practical experiences. The book thus provides not only a unique overview of current research into empathy and compassion, but also offers an exciting way of approaching the topic for interested readers—including useful information for everyday life. The eBook has evolved from a workshop, How to Train Compassion, which was organised by Singer’s department and hosted in artist Olafur Eliasson’s studio in Berlin back in 2011. It was produced with the support of the Max Planck Society, offering the reader many videos from the workshop, sound art collages by Nathalie Singer, as well as impressive pieces of visual art by Olafur Eliasson.

The film Raising Compassion brings together workshop participants in a remarkable exchange between science, art, and contemplative practice. In a series of informal conversations about compassion, initiated by Tania Singer and Olafur Eliasson, they discuss the public perception of compassion, compassion-training programs at various research centers, their experiences working with prisoners and in hospitals, and promote the practical uses of compassion-training in dealing with social-political issues. The eBook can be downloaded, and the film can be viewed here.

Tania Singer will speak at the upcoming DLD14 conference, taking place in Munich January 19 - 21, 2014. Apply for a ticket to this exclusive conference, tune in on the beat of our community on the DLDpulse and find regular updates on the DLD14 programme and speakers here.

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Olafur eliasson carre web
Olafur Eliasson
Studio Olafur Eliasson
Studio Olafur Eliasson