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How We Live Now with Katherine May

Dacher Keltner on awe, humility and purpose

Season 5, Ep. 7

I stumbled across Dacher Keltner’s work when I was first researching Enchantment, and now - for the final episode in this season - I’m honoured to speak to him about Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.  


Dacher’s research attempts to understand this very fleeting, ineffable emotion. He and his colleagues have shown that  awe induces a feeling of being small within a vast universe - a radical shift into context. What’s more, by absorbing ourselves in awe, we become better people, more motivated to go out and do good. In this episode, we explore how it feels to experience awe, how we can seek it out in the everyday, and we share the personal experiences of awe that have inspired both of our books. 


Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the director of the Greater Good Science Center. He has over 200 scientific publications and six books, including Born to Be Good, The Compassionate Instinct, and The Power Paradox. He has written for many popular outlets, from The New York Times to Slate. He was also the scientific advisor behind Pixar’s Inside Out.


Katherine's new book, Enchantment, is available now: US/CAN and UK


Links from the episode:


  • Join Katherine's Substack to receive episodes ad-free, extended intros and immersive, bonus mini-episdes
  • Find show notes and transcripts for every episode by visiting Katherine's website.
  • Follow Katherine on Instagram


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