Richard J. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, and Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 275 articles, many chapters and reviews and edited 13 books. He has been a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors since 1991. He is also the author of the forthcoming book (with Sharon Begley) The Emotional Life of Your Brain to be published by Penguin in March of 2012.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research including a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award, a MERIT Award from NIMH, an Established Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD), a Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD, the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society, and the Hilldale Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was the Founding Co-Editor of the new American Psychological Association journal EMOTION and is Past-President of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He was also the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association – the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.
In 2003 Davidson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2004 he was elected to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. In 2006, he was awarded the first Mani Bhaumik Award by UCLA for advancing the understanding of the brain and conscious mind in healing. Also in 2006, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, and in 2007, Madison Magazine named him Person of the Year. In 2008, he founded the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, a research center dedicated to the study of positive qualities, such as kindness and compassion. In 2011, he was given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig from 2011-2017 and as Chair of the Psychology section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2011-2013.