Mind & Life Europe Francisco J. Varela Research Award

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitivelyAcademic


Mareike Smolka received the Mind & Life Europe Varela Award of 6108,44€ for her research project “Tracing collaborative reflection moment-to-moment: bringing STS to contemplative science and vice versa”. Together with Prof. Erik Fisher from Arizona State University she will investigate the micro-dynamics of collaborative reflection in the contemplative science community. 
Contemplative science is a young, interdisciplinary field that investigates contemplative practices, such as mindfulness meditation, with neuroscientific and psychological approaches. Members of the contemplative science community are known to be deeply invested in both the study and practice of meditation. Many of them report that meditation enhances their professional competences among which reflection features highly. To learn from the reflective competences of the contemplative science community, Mareike Smolka and Erik Fisher will study how their members engage in collaborative reflection exercises. Studying what goes into the accomplishment of collaborative reflection gives new impetus for improving STS approaches to collaborative reflection that support socially beneficial problem-solving in science and other professions. At the same time, opening up reflective practices helps the contemplative science community tap into hidden or dormant reflective competences. 
The project advances research at the interface of STS and contemplative science. It is one of eight projects that are awarded up to 15.000€ each by the European Mind & Life Institute to strengthen interdisciplinary approaches in contemplative science.
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganisationsMind & Life Europe