Well-being is a skill: neuroscience for a healthier mind

April 23, 2024DR Koncerthuset Copenhagen
Scienceandcocktails buddhist monk full of electrodes on his bra d1316407 2afe 41ed 9934 54ed45cc0db8
Doors open: 19:00
Start programme: 20:00
DR Koncerthuset
Ørestads Blvd. 13

Science & Cocktails is proud to present an episode with Richard Davidson, world-renowned psychologist, psychiatrist and neuroscientist obsessed with trying to understand what is well-being and how to train our brains towards healthier minds. He is the director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a close friend of the Dalai Lama, and has placed so many electrodes on the brain of monks to try to understand the effects of meditation and mindfulness. All this comes after Josephine Philip takes you through a musical universe moving from the intimate acoustic space to large Bond-like productions with jazzy blue undertones and further into a more mechanical trip-hop aesthetic.

What is the evidence suggesting that well-being is in global decline? What are the four key pillars of well-being? What is the evidence that well-being can be learned? What are some of the neural and biological changes produced by different forms of meditation practice? What is the promise of mobile digital tools to scale the practice of the skills of well-being?

Just like being physically in shape means regular exercise, supporting one’s emotional well-being begins with a training program - for the mind. In this talk, world renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Richard J. Davidson discusses the scientific concept of neuroplasticity and how research in the lab confirms that well-being is a skill that can be taught. By learning and practicing the skills associated with awareness, connection, insight, and purpose - anyone can have a healthier mind, despite their external circumstances. Based on four decades of contemplative neuroscientific research, Dr. Davidson outlines a path to well-being for anyone in this highly relevant episode of Science and Cocktails.

Event held in English with the generous support of the Lundbeck Foundation and the Brain Prize.


  • 20:00–   20:45
    Josephine Philip– 
  • 21:15–   22:15
    Richard Davidson– 
  • 22:15–   23:30
    Ms. Jekel– 

Talk by

Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson is William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founder and Chief Visionary for Healthy Minds Innovations, Inc. Davidson received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology in 1976. Davidson’s research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices. He has published over 573 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" published in 2012 and co-author with Daniel Goleman of “Altered Traits” published in 2017. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2017 and appointed to the Governing Board of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in 2018. In 2014, Davidson founded the non-profit, Healthy Minds Innovations, which translates science into tools to cultivate and measure well-being.

Richard Davidson Photo

Music by

Josephine Philip

Josephine Philip is part of the duo Darkness Falls. She was one half of the dynamic duo JaConfetti with Ane Trolle, was the founder of the female ska band Favelachic and the popular DJ duo Dullen & Dyken. She has written songs and performed with Trentemøller, and recently collaborated with the German composer and musician Christian Löffler. She is a co-creator and one half of the performance duo Philip | Schneider – an experimental duo with one foot rooted in sound and the other in visual art, a collaboration with composer and singer Hannah Schneider. Since its formation in 2019, the ensemble has already been found at some of the most influential Danish art institutions. Josephine is also co-founder of the company Midnight Confessions, which she runs with Hannah Schneider.


Live act by

Ms. Jekel

An avid collector of french retromusic on vinyl for the past 20 years, she has made her mark as a regular DJ in the Copenhagen scene playing her vast and eclectic record collection! At Science and Cocktails she will tour de france with a variety of genres from old school chanson over mod-jazz and rare 60's yé-yé pop. She'll mix it up with some lounge music and a bit of groovy soul that goes hand in hand with a good glass of wine.

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