STAT

For life’s big questions, Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns try a scientific approach

A program teaching Buddhist monks about neuroscience and related fields was inspired by a personal relationship between the Dalai Lama and a psychological anthropologist in the U.S.

Where do compassion and empathy come from?

What makes life sentient?

Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns have grappled with these questions for centuries but, for the first time in their history, they are using science to help find the answers.

This summer, as they have the past several years, professors from across the United States and elsewhere are traveling to three major Tibetan monastic universities in Southern India to train monastics in the philosophy of science, physics, biology, and neuroscience.

For monks and nuns, the program — organized and operated by Emory University — is the most far-reaching update to their curriculum in 600 years. And for scientists who usually reduce complex systems — like the human body — into smaller parts, the program

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT4 min readSociety
Opinion: Virtual And Augmented Reality Can Save Lives By Improving Surgeons’ Training
Rapid advances in the development of medical devices in the 21st century are contributing to healthier lives, but bring with them a new challenge: teaching clinicians how to use these often-complicated technologies. Teaching them poorly, or failing t
STAT2 min read
This Troubled Biotech Needed Cash, So It Turned To A Predatory Lender: Its Own CEO
I don’t write about Northwest Biotherapeutics much anymore because it’s not cool to punch down. However, there was a juicy nugget in the cancer biotech’s recently filed 10-Q that had to be shared. It’s another example of a biotech executive getting r
STAT7 min read
Opinion: Novartis Violated FDA’s Sacred Principle: In God We Trust, All Others Must Bring Data
My experience in more than 40 years of developing and evaluating medical products, and two years working at the FDA, has convinced me that it's essential to have a second…