Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas

Science Director, Greater Good Science Center
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Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., is the Science Director of the Greater Good Science Center, where she oversees its fellowship program, Expanding Gratitude project, and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s “Science of Happiness” online course.

Emiliana earned her doctorate in Cognition, Brain, and Behavior at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation used behavioral and neuroscience methods to examined how negative states like fear and aversion influence thinking and decision-making. During her postdoc, Emiliana transitioned to studying pro-social states like love of humanity, compassion, and awe. From there, she served as Associate Director/Senior Scientist at CCARE (the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) at Stanford University, focusing on how compassion benefits health, well-being, and psychosocial functioning.

Today, Emiliana’s work spotlights the science that connects health and happiness to social affiliation, caregiving, and collaborative relationships, as she continues to examine the potential for—as well as the benefits of—living a more meaningful life.

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Academic Background 

PhD, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior, UC Berkeley

Publications & Media

Videos 

Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas: Compassion in the Brain

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Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Gratitude for Educators

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Emiliana Simon-Thomas: The Science of Happiness vs. Sustained Happiness

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TEDxHayward - Emiliana Simon-Thomas - Why Compassion is Good for You

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Papers & Articles 

Interview: Emiliana Simon-Thomas, UC Berkeley’s happiness guru

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UC Berkeley Executive Education Partners with United Arab Emirates to Create Happier Workers

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Academic Background 

PhD, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior, UC Berkeley

Publications & Media

Videos 

Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas: Compassion in the Brain

WATCH VIDEO

Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Gratitude for Educators

WATCH VIDEO

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: The Science of Happiness vs. Sustained Happiness

WATCH VIDEO

TEDxHayward - Emiliana Simon-Thomas - Why Compassion is Good for You

WATCH VIDEO
VIEW MORE
Papers & Articles 

Interview: Emiliana Simon-Thomas, UC Berkeley’s happiness guru

VIEW PAPER

UC Berkeley Executive Education Partners with United Arab Emirates to Create Happier Workers

VIEW PAPER
VIEW MORE