73. Professor George Slavich – What Does The Immune System Care About?

“Suggesting that those things be practiced misses at least 50% of the point which is not just about getting us to live longer but it’s about moving us incrementally toward being better people, being more, kind and compassionate to ourselves and to other people, purely for the sake of doing it.”

On the Survival of the Kindest podcast we try and piece together a variety of different views which help to explain why compassion is so important.
We have heard from Professor Julianne Holt Lunstad about the dramatic effect of social relationships on reducing the risk of dying. We heard from Professor Steve Cole about how this works at a molecular level, including the field of human social genomics. On this week’s podcast we hear about the fantastic work of Professor George Slavich. George and Steve are colleagues. Starting with a psychology degree, George became increasingly interested in the biological impacts of social relationships. This led him to the field of psychoneuroimmunology. The depth of his interest is amazing. He has managed to describe as complete a picture of the impact of social relationships in all the body systems as we have. He has developed the field of social safety theory which comprehensively examines the evolutionary roots and the impacts of a variety of different environments, both physical and social, on how our bodies function.

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