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‘Expanding Empathy’ Lecture Series Moves Online, Panel Discussion on Empathy in the Time of COVID-19 Added

In early March, Penn State’s “Expanding Empathy” 2020 lecture series kicked off with Jesse Graham discussing expanding and contracting circles of care. Such considerations have become ever more relevant, as soon after Graham’s lecture, COVID-19 began to directly impact the Penn State community and the world. As a result of this increasing importance, the convener of “Expanding Empathy” — Daryl Cameron, assistant professor of psychology in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute — is moving the remaining lectures online and adding a panel discussion on empathy in the time of COVID-19.
by David Price Apr 27, 2020

EE2020 Webinars

Image: Tiny Little Hammers


As society deals with the widespread ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many questions about the role of empathy. How and why does encouraging fellow-feeling with others matter for public health and public policy?

In early March, Penn State’s “Expanding Empathy” 2020 lecture series kicked off with Jesse Graham of the University of Utah discussing expanding and contracting circles of care. Such considerations have become ever more relevant, as soon after Graham’s lecture, COVID-19 began to directly impact the Penn State community and the world.

As a result of this increasing importance, the convener of “Expanding Empathy” — Daryl Cameron, assistant professor of psychology in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute — is moving the remaining lectures online.

Also, an expert panel discussion about how to think about empathy in the time of COVID-19 is being added. Each panelist will talk about their work and how it might relate to the current pandemic. Additionally, they will take questions from the audience as time permits.

Does empathy encourage others to engage in distancing and help others in need during this crisis? Can empathy be exhausting in a large-scale crisis like this? What are the moral dilemmas that people may face in this crisis, and what kinds of extraordinary altruism have we seen and might we expect to see moving forward?

Cameron, who will moderate the discussion, studies empathy and moral decision making. The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences recently awarded Cameron a coronavirus research seed grant to study empathy and its relationship to the pandemic response.

Joining Cameron for the panel discussion, from the 2020 “Expanding Empathy” series:

  • Paul Conway, assistant professor of psychology at Florida State University
  • Abigail Marsh, associate professor of psychology, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, at Georgetown University
  • David DeSteno, professor of psychology at Northeastern University

 
Also on the panel will be Michael Poulin, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University at Buffalo. As part of the 2019 “Expanding Empathy” series, Poulin presented the lecture, “Must We Feel Bad to Do Good?” which can be viewed here.

The panel discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, from 1:00-2:30. (Registration information is below.)

In the lead-up to the special panel, two of the individual panelists will also be doing Zoom webinar versions of their talks that had been previously planned for being in-person at University Park:


Admission to all of the events is free, but Zoom attendees must register in advance. (Viewing on Facebook Live does not require registration.)

To register for Paul Conway’s Monday lecture:  https://bit.ly/EE2020Conway

To register for David DeSteno’s Tuesday lecture: https://bit.ly/EE2020DeSteno

To register for the Wednesday COVID-19 panel discussion: https://bit.ly/EE2020Covid

Audio and video of the “Expanding Empathy” webinars (which will be shown on Facebook Live on the Rock Ethics Institute’s page) will be recorded and made available for online streaming at a later date.

The “Expanding Empathy” series is supported by Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts and College of Health and Human Development, as well as the Department of Psychology, the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, and the Penn State University Libraries.

As part of his broader research and outreach on empathy and generosity, series organizer Daryl Cameron is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

Established in 2001 through the support of Doug and Julie Rock, the Rock Ethics Institute promotes engaged ethics research and ethical leadership from its home in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts.