When was the last time something left you in awe? Maybe it was staring at the millions of stars in a vast night sky or marveling at the birth of a child.

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Dr. Dacher Keltner

Dr. Dacher Keltner is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He also is the host of the podcast The Science of Happiness.

He has spent years studying the biological and evolutionary origins of human emotion. As an expert in this field, he was recruited to consult on the Disney / Pixar films Inside Out and Soul.

His latest book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life, presents a radical investigation and deeply personal inquiry into the elusive emotion of awe. Revealing new research into how awe transforms our brains and bodies, alongside an examination of awe across history, culture, and within his own life during a period of grief, Keltner shows us how cultivating awe in our everyday life leads us to appreciate what is most humane in our human nature.

Join us this week on Watching America as host Dr. Alan Campbell talks with Keltner about how a season of profound grief led the scientist to re-evaluate some of his long-held ideas about life and death, the areas in which he experiences awe the most, and the ways scientists have found to study and measure a concept as elusive and complex as awe.

Listen to the interview.