Professor Paul Gilbert’s 2nd Inaugural Lecture, University of Derby

In December 2015, Derby University welcomed their Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology, Paul Gilbert OBE to give his second Inaugural Lecture.  Aiming to highlight the serious problems that humanity has with its own brain, Prof Gilbert highlighted the disparity between the cruelty of our species in contrast to our high capacity for compassion. 


As our minds are full of conflicting emotions and motives that have evolved to do different things in different contexts, Prof Gilbert proposed that a better understanding of the interaction between evolved dispositions and socially shaped phenotypes would make us better placed to advance human well-being.

Centre to this is the understanding of the value and importance of cultivating compassionate and prosocial behaviour to self and others. Reference was made to the now growing evidence that cultivating prosocial behaviour to self and others promotes well health and creativity.  

Prof Gilbert argued that this endeavour should be at the centre of our efforts to improve the human condition - that Compassion can be the Saviour of the Universe