Leading scholars will meet at a British Academy conference on 7 – 8 March to discuss for the first time how research into the neuroscience of empathy could help find a new approach to the Palestine-Israel conflict. After 100 years of conflict between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, this conference will explore how empathy has been depleted on both sides, and how it can be rekindled. Speakers include UK and international experts, with contributors from Palestine and Israel.
Neuroscience has been making great progress in recent years in explaining the social and biological factors that can promote or erode empathy, for example, tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging help us to understand the brain basis of empathy. It is now well established that living in trauma can block the mind’s natural empathic response, leading a person or their community to react with fight-or-flight self-defence circuits, and with anger and a desire for revenge.
There is also a free public panel event Tuesday 8 March at the British Academy following the conference. Register for your free place at 'Empathy in conflict resolution' here.