Buddhist Practice and Scientific Research: Ways of Knowing in Dialogue

Free Public Panel Discussion

Can neuroscience, psychology, and related disciplines demonstrate the value of meditation? In light of scientific research on the effects of mindfulness, how should traditional practices be adopted into new contexts? Buddhist teachers, meditators, and scientists now regularly interact at conferences and in the laboratory, but basic questions remain. Has the emerging empirical evidence been hyped? Are existing research methods adequate for investigating how Buddhist teachings are relevant to lived experience? What is the role of intention, ethics, and lived experience in understanding the consequences of these teachings and practices when they are applied in schools, the workplace, medicine and society at large? How is current interest in mindfulness viewed from differing cultural contexts?

Join a panel of leading scholars to reflect on such questions and consider where to go from here.


  • Elena Antonova, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London
  • Francisca Cho, PhD, Professor of Buddhist Studies, Department of Theology, Georgetown University
  • Shaun Gallagher, PhD, Lillian and Morrie Moss Professor of Philosophy, University of Memphis
  • Laurence Kirmayer, MD, James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
  • Claire Petitmengin, PhD, Professor, Institut Mines-Telecom; Associate Researcher, Archives Husserl, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris
  • Martijn van Beek, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University
This project was made possible through the generous support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.