The Center for Mind and Culture is a non-partisan research institute focusing on phenomena at the intersection of mind, brain, culture, and society. We combine:
- the sciences of minds, brains, and bodies (e.g. neuroscience, cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, medicine),
- the sciences of culture, society, and history (e.g. sociology, anthropology, political economy, history),
- the computational sciences (e.g. modeling and simulation, semantic network analysis, machine learning, analysis of massive datasets), and
- the humanities, whenever they are relevant to deepening understanding of the phenomena being studied.
The Center for Mind and Culture’s mission is three-fold. (For a more detailed presentation of the Center’s mission, click here.)
- Research: The Center aims to conduct leading-edge research into the biological and cultural foundations and functions of phenomena at the intersection of mind and culture.
- Training: The Center aims to train people in the bio-cultural methods needed for such research at the very highest level.
- Outreach: The Center aims to reach out to researchers, scholars, and the general public to build professional networks, to share information about mind and culture, to guide effective public policy and medical care, and to deepen the public understanding of the human minds and cultures.
The Center for Mind and Culture adopts a non-partisan, bio-cultural approach to research at the nexus of mind and culture. Being non-partisan means we don’t take evaluative positions on the value of the mind-culture phenomena we study; we aim to understand not judge. Our bio-cultural approach takes a bit more explaining; read more here.
The Center for Mind and Culture’s core values include the following:
- upholding the highest intellectual standards in all phases of our work;
- acting ethically toward our business partners and funding sources;
- maintaining neutrality regarding the ideological promotion or critique of healing traditions, faith communities, and political outlooks;
- remaining institutionally agile and creative; and
- maximizing efficiency and productivity by optimizing infrastructure and overhead.
The Center for Mind and Culture was founded by neuroscientist Patrick McNamara and philosopher of religion Wesley J. Wildman. The Center grew out of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion (IBCSR), as the scope of our research broadened to many aspects of the mind-culture intersection. IBCSR’s focus on the scientific study of religion continues as one vital branch of the Center’s research, training, and outreach. Other areas of research focus are human health, public policy, and international security.
The Center is a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as of 2007, though its work predates its incorporation. As of August 20, 2007, it is a public charity with United States federal tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the Center are tax-deductible (Tax ID 26-0750389).