What Monkeys Can Teach Humans About Altruism – WSJ.com

Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to t...

Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to the Oslo Opera House in June 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By ROBERT M. SAPOLSKY

I’ve been reflecting on how Bill and Melinda Gates resemble a pair of monkeys. Earlier this month, the Lasker Awards were announced. The prestigious prize, known as the “American Nobel,” is given annually to a few extraordinary biomedical scientists. A Lasker for public service is also usually awarded—this year to the Gateses.

Great move. They’ve given vast sums of money to medical research and have galvanized other billionaires into doing the same. They’ve targeted research about diseases that bring incalculable misery to the developing world. All with great wisdom.

Loris Lora

Philosophers have long debated whether truly selfless altruism is possible. Some argue that pure altruism can occur, while others proclaim the jaundiced sound bite, “Scratch an altruist and a hypocrite bleeds.”

After all, altruism can be immensely fulfilling, and neuroimaging studies show that altruistic acts activate reward centers of the brain.

Read Full Article via What Monkeys Can Teach Humans About Altruism – WSJ.com.

 

About

Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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