Emiliana Simon-Thomas is a neuroscientist, holds a PhD in how fear affects our thinking and is the science director of Greater Good Science Center in Berkeley, California. When we meet, she is about to distribute 6 million dollars for research projects solely on the theme of gratitude.
Gratitude is one of the core themes of the research center, focusing on positive emotions regarded as likely to lead to a meaningful life. Others are empathy, forgiveness and mindfulness. For Emiliana, her main interest is to increase the understanding of how compassion arises.