Thalia Wheatley's outstanding contributions to Dartmouth College have been honored with an endowed chair. She has been appointed as the Lincoln Filene Professor in Human Relations. Read the full Dartmouth News story here.
"We are living through a global pandemic, and combatting viral spread has meant cutting the cords of our social world. My research addresses why social interaction is critical for physical and mental health, and how it aligns our brains in ways that facilitate mutual understanding. I teach a lot of first-years who come ready to learn what other scientists have discovered. I love shifting their orientation into a deeper understanding of how science works and what remains unknown. I love seeing students take that sense of wonder into the lab, working in a team to discover new knowledge. The central aim of my career is to advance our understanding of human relations—from what makes conversation work to how brains become synchronized to create the large social webs we inhabit—so holding the Lincoln Filene Chair in Human Relations is particularly meaningful.
We are on the cusp of a sea change in psychology and neuroscience that is taking us beyond an isolated brain model towards understanding how minds work collectively. Across Dartmouth, faculty and students are joining forces to better understand how people share beliefs, ideas, and experiences; how and when social bonds form; and when collective understanding succeeds and fails. Dartmouth's size facilitates not only faculty-student teamwork but also working across departments. These cross-disciplinary connections provide a rich and fertile bed for new ideas and approaches, keeping Dartmouth at the forefront of this new frontier." - Thalia Wheatley