Friday, October 26, 2012

JRSM Essay Published

My Essay titled "Why the NIH Should Create an Institute of Positive Biology" is now published in the October issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The paper is available online for free here. A sample:

The IPB [Institute of Positive Biology] would be an interdisciplinary institute, bringing together researchers from the natural and social sciences. The central goal of the institute would be to translate basic scientific research on exemplar positive phenotypes into safe and effective clinical and environmental interventions that could promote human health and happiness. A strategic focus on exemplar positive phenotypes would bring to the fore not only research on exceptional longevity, but also play, resilience,happiness and high cognitive ability.

Celebrating and supporting scientific research into exemplar positive phenotypes, by designing and funding a specific institute dedicated to positive biology, would help legitimize many important areas of scientific research – from longevity science and positive psychology to research into high cognitive functioning and play. These fields
of research have tended to be viewed as, at best, ‘intellectual curiosities’ and, at worst, a waste of public funding. By creating the IPB, the NIH would be sending a clear message that the study of exemplar phenotypes is an intricate part of well-ordered science and medicine for the 21st century.