Biography for Arthur Zajonc
Arthur Zajonc, PhD, was professor of physics at Amherst College from 1978 to 2012, when he became president of the Mind & Life Institute. He has been a visiting professor and research scientist at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and the Universities of Rochester and Hannover. He has been a Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His research includes studies in electron-atom physics, parity violation in atoms, quantum optics, the experimental foundations of quantum physics, and the relationship between science, the humanities, and the contemplative traditions. He has written extensively on Goethe’s science work, and is the author of the book Catching the Light, coauthor of The Quantum Challenge, and coeditor of Goethe’s Way of Science. In 1997, he served as scientific coordinator for the Mind & Life dialogue published as The New Physics and Cosmology: Dialogues with the Dalai Lama. He again organized the 2002 dialogue with the Dalai Lama, “The Nature of Matter, the Nature of Life,” and acted as moderator at MIT for the “Investigating the Mind” Mind & Life dialogue in 2003. The proceedings of the Mind & Life-MIT meeting were published under the title The Dalai Lama at MIT. While directing the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Zajonc fostered the use of contemplative practice in college and university classrooms, and he continues to speak around the world on the importance of contemplative pedagogy. Out of this work and his long-standing meditative practice, Zajonc has authored Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: When Knowing Becomes Love. He has coauthored a book with Parker Palmer, The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal. Zajonc blogs for Psychology Today on meditation. He has also been general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, a cofounder of the Kira Institute, president of the Lindisfarne Association, and a senior program director at the Fetzer Institute.