State of the Field—Discoveries, Opportunities, and Challenges



November 5-8, 2020
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Mind & Life 2020 Contemplative Research Conference is the new flagship research conference for rigorous interdisciplinary investigation of contemplative practices and programs in diverse contexts. We are researchers, scientists, and scholars from areas as diverse as neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, clinical science, integrative health, contemplative scholarship, religious studies, and education. The conference will feature plenary sessions and concurrent symposia on a diverse range of topics and best practices within contemplative research, including basic research, clinical studies, cultural and philosophical analyses, and education. Themes of particular interest include the role that contemplative approaches may play in enhancing social connectivity, reducing polarization, and the development of individual and societal flourishing .

Sessions and events will provide attendees with a range of opportunities, including discussion and debate about our latest findings and related issues, such as best practices for interdisciplinary research. In addition to invited plenary speakers and panels, the conference will feature participant-driven papers, posters, and symposia, along with opportunities for career development, networking, and contemplative arts and practices. There will be two preconference events including an education focused day-long workshop and a contemplative retreat day.

Contemplative Research Conference Planning Committee includes: John Dunne, University of Wisconsin-Madison (co-chair); Linda Carlson, University of Calgary (co-chair); Doris Chang, New York University; Amishi Jha, University of Miami; Neil Dalal, University of Alberta; and Dave Vago, Vanderbilt University. The Education Preconference Planning Committee includes: Ed Taylor, University of Washington (chair); Gail Perry-Ryder, The City University of New York; and Tish Jennings, University of Virginia.


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And in fall 2021 Mind & Life will offer a new convening for changemakers—those bringing evidence-based contemplative approaches to clinical, educational, workplace, and community settings. Stay tuned!