About the Greater Good Science Center


Hornaday Postdoctoral Fellows

In partnership with several top-tier labs, the GGSC pursues cutting-edge research initiatives related to the social and biological roots of positive emotion. The GGSC awarded its first postdoctoral research fellowship to Sarina Rodrigues, who conducted trailblazing research on compassion and empathy while a GGSC fellow.

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

Sarina Rodrigues Sarina Rodrigues

Dr. Sarina Rodrigues is a neuroscientist whose expertise centers on emotional processing in the brain. In her undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon, she completed an honors thesis with Michael Posner, an eminent researcher in the field of attention. She received her Ph.D. from New York University under the mentorship of Joseph LeDoux, a pioneer in the field of emotion. Her dissertation focused on molecular, cellular, and behavioral studies of the amygdala, the key brain structure for emotional processing. She then studied as a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University under the guidance of Robert Sapolsky.

Following her work at Stanford, Sarina served as the GGSC’s first postdoctoral fellow from 2007-2009, working with Dacher Keltner. Her research investigated the neurobiology of positive emotions, producing groundbreaking findings on the roots and development of social well-being.

You can read about the trailblazing work Sarina did on the genetics of empathy as a GGSC postdoctoral fellow in this New York Times article.

She is now an assistant professor in the department of psychology at Oregon State University.

The GGSC has also supported the research of two other postdoctoral scientists at UC Berkeley: Emily Impett, who studies relationships and health, and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, who studies nervous system activation and processing related to discrete positive emotions, with an emphasis on characterizing prosocial emotions like compassion, awe, and love.

Current & Other Past Fellows


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Greater Good Events

The Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators 2017
Clark Kerr Campus, UC-Berkeley
Sunday, June 25 - Friday, June 30, 2017 OR Sunday, July 16 - Friday, July 21, 2017

The Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators 2017

The GGSC’s six-day Summer Institute equips education professionals with prosocial learning strategies, tools and processes that benefit both students and teachers.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

Roots of Empathy By Mary Gordon Mary Gordon explains how best to nurture empathy and social emotional literacy in all children—and thereby reduce aggression, antisocial behavior, and bullying.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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