Emory-Tibet Science Initiative Leadership Team: Dr. Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Dr. Carol Worthman (Neuroscience), Dr. Arri Eisen (Biology), Geshe Lhakdor, Dr. Mark Risjord (Philosophy of Science), Dr. John Malko (Physics).



“The Emory-Tibet Symposium: Bridging Buddhism and Science for Mutual Enrichment” was truly a unique conference in that it represented the first time that Buddhist scholars and scientists engaged in topics of shared interest as peers investigating similar questions from different perspectives. Co-sponsored by the Emory-Tibet Partnership (now the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics) and the Dalai Lama Trust, in collaboration with Drepung Monastery and The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, the symposium was held at Drepung Monastic University in Mundgod, South India, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama participated in all three days.  Additionally, the symposium coincided with the celebration of Drepung Monastic University’s 600th anniversary, a significant event in its own right commemorating a centuries-long commitment to academic excellence.  

A product of this symposium is a forthcoming book from SUNY Press, Meeting on Equal Footing: Buddhism and Science in New Dialogue.



The ultimate goal of the symposium is to build a bridge between two complementary systems of knowledge. By creating an opportunity for equitable dialogue, we believe the symposium can contribute to new understandings about both our inner and outer worlds.


The symposium is the natural outgrowth of the work of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, a comprehensive educational program designed to teach science specifically to Tibetan monastics. Featuring six sessions over three days,  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will participate in the panel discussions following the main presentations.  The first session will include remarks by His Holiness, as well as a presentation looking at the history of the relationship between Buddhism and science in order to contextualize the proceedings.  Four sessions will be devoted to a core topic selected from each of the four disciplines taught within the ETSI curriculum: Philosophy of Science, Biology, Physics and Neuroscience.  The final sixth session will focus on the future of this convergence of perspectives, including its irelationship to His Holiness' vision for secular ethics, as well as His Holiness’ concluding remarks.  

All presenters and panelists will be invited by the Executive Committee of the Symposium.  Unfortunately unsolicitied presentations cannot be considered for inclusion.  The symposium web pages will be updated with additional information regarding additional participating presenters and panelists as they are confirmed. Details on schedule wil be posted as they are available.

Executive Committee

Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD:  Director, Emory-Tibet Partnership

Geshe Lhakdor: Director, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives

Gaelle Desbordes, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School


Neuroscience: Dr. Carol Worthman

Biology: Dr. Arri Eisen

Physics: Tsondue Samphel

Philosophy of Science: Dr. Mark Risjord