“Happiness” is the theme chosen for the 2013 edition of Rome's Science Festival. The concept is introduced by a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”.
This is a central concept in philosophy and psychology, but what can science tell us about happiness? Well, lots it appears, thanks to studies in disciplines as diverse as neuroscience, biology, anthropology and sociology. What kind of behaviour leads us to happiness? What triggers happiness in our brain? What does happiness mean to different cultures? Do animals feel happiness? Can happiness be placed at the centre of our political decisions?
The 8th edition of Rome’s Festival of Science offers a lineup of debates, performances and readings conducted by high profile participants such as Amartya Sen, Darrin McMahon, Paul Bloom and David Linden.
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