Darcia Narvaez, PhD, Kindred World's president and the Evolved Nest Initiative Founder, receives a standing ovation at the Society for Progress Conference, Paris, France, in November 2021.
Darcia Narvaez is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of Notre Dame. She is the founder of the public and professional educational outreach project The Evolved Nest Initiative whose nonprofit mission is to share her science research into developing appropriate baselines for lifelong human wellness by meeting the biological needs of infants. This wellbeing baseline is imperative at this time as the United States ranks 41st out of 41 developed countries in public policies that support families.
Darcia is the current president of the award-winning, venerable nonprofit Kindred World, who has been "serving the re-generation since 1996." The Evolved Nest is an initiative of Kindred World. See all of Kindred World's strategies and initiatives for advancing a Wisdom-based, Wellness-Informed Society here.
In 2022, Narvaez was elected a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest international body of professional scientists in the world and publisher of the prestigious journal Science. Narvaez was honored for her distinguished contributions illuminating typical and atypical development in terms of well-being, morality and sustainable wisdom.
For the first portion of her career, Narvaez investigated moral psychology and moral development in typical ways — through studying reason, cognition, and education. But several years ago, she grew deeply interested in cross-disciplinary insights into evolutionary issues. As she read deeper into neuro- and clinical sciences, she began to see all sorts of connections that sparked further research.
“I realized that all these fields bore on moral development. I was awakened to the fact that human beings are a particular species with particular needs that, especially in early life, need to be fulfilled in order to construct an individual’s sociality and compassionate morality,” she said. “The key insight was realizing that our species’ evolved nest is vital for fostering our cooperative human nature. When the evolved nest is degraded, as it is in industrialized countries, it can impair capacities for cooperation and compassion because early stress is toxic to species-typical neurobiological function.”
Her empirical, theoretical, and applied research now focuses on the kinds of characteristics notable in communities that provide the evolved nest to children from conception, societies that demonstrate wellbeing, heart-minded morality, and communal imagination.
In a 2020 analysis of top scientists, Narvaez emerged in the top 2% of scientists worldwide. Of the eight million scientists in the world, the analysis concerned those who had at least five articles published in scientific journals between 1996 and 2017-- over six million scientists. Individuals were ranked according to various criteria, including number of citations of their work.
Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen for the 2017 Expanded Reason Award from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries. Narvaez received the prize, including a substantial monetary award, at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on September 27, 2017. The book also received the William James Award from the American Psychological Association in 2015. She is former executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education.
Read her posts on Kindred.
Visit the Evolved Nest website.
Visit Darcia's website.
Darcia Narvaez speaking at the Humanity 2.0 Conference atin NYC, Feb. 2022. Read the press release.
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