Our Mission

“…a main focus of ISHK’s work since our founding in 1969 has been to disseminate information and insights from psychology and other disciplines about who we are and how our minds work, so that we may be more conscious in shaping the future. Today…getting this kind of information and insight into the wider culture is more important than ever.”  —Robert Ornstein

Today humanity faces unprecedented challenges. How can we apply advances in science and technology to ensure health and safety for all the world’s people? Can we learn to tolerate and appreciate cultural diversity in an ever-shrinking global community? Can we learn to manage the planet’s dwindling vital resources and basic life-support systems before it’s too late?

Many worthy organizations address these issues in the political, cultural, and humanitarian spheres. But none focus, as does ISHK, on the root cause — our very nature as human beings. What do we know about the way our brains work, about the way we receive and process information from our environment, about how our mental and nervous systems evolved, which create these crises in the first place? What other capacities might be inherent in our nature to help us rise above our narrow-minded reactions, and how can we choose the most appropriate mindset for a given situation? How can we develop these new capacities in ourselves and in our children?

It is the mission of ISHK to gain such insight through the investigation of humanity’s biological and cultural evolution and to communicate new understandings in the human sciences to both professionals and the culture at large through symposia, curricula development, websites and publications.