It is well known that during interfaith dialogues one must proceed with a great deal of sensitivity and self-reflection. Participants need to be aware of their own worldviews, biases, goals, and identities. How would interdisciplinary dialogues similarly benefit from such practices? Interdisciplinary collaboration is often stalled or breaks down altogether on account of mutual misunderstanding and the inability to address and resolve underlying tensions and assumptions. Humanists tend to dismiss science as reductionistic and decontextualized, while scientists often dismiss humanistic projects as irrelevant to their pragmatic goals. This breakout session provides methods for investigating and resolving long standing issues that are impeding interdisciplinary collaboration. We will explore how scholars, scientists, and practitioners alike could draw upon contemplative techniques to investigate inhibiting assumptions, biases, and judgments. Bringing multiple disciplinary perspectives to bear on complex social, cultural, psychological, and biological phenomena like contemplative practices and contemplative experiences is both valuable and necessary. Could third-person modes of interdisciplinary analysis be improved by integrating first-person practice experience and intentional second-person discussions? Through explicitly voicing tacitly held assumptions about disciplinary methods and perspectives, this workshop aims to provide a richer understanding and appreciation of the unique training and perspectives that each discipline provides.

Willoughby Britton, PhD

Brown University

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Grantee, Planning Committee Member

Dr. Britton earned a B.A. in Neuroscience from Colgate University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2007.  She is the recipient of two … MORE

Jared Lindahl, PhD

Brown University


Jared Lindahl, PhD is Visiting Scholar at the Cogut Center for the Humanities and Director of Humanistic Research in the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Brown University. He holds a … MORE