Darwin Centre Trust
  Darwin International Institute for the Study of Compassion
  Darwin Scholarship Programme

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DARWIN
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF COMPASSION
for a new generation of scholars and future leaders with a deeper understanding of compassion 
DIISC aims to:

  • stimulate and organise exploration, research, learning and education in and between a wide range of discourses and practices, as they help us understand compassion at individual, family, social, professional, organisational, intercultural, governmental, international and ecological levels

  • bring together these perspectives in integrative dialogue and mutual learning, promoting inter-disciplinary collaboration and common purpose

  • understand the implications for all aspects of community life, education, health care, environment, business, social policy and intercultural relations

  • explore, develop and evaluate practices at any or all of these levels and domains of life that promote and sustain compassion in action

In this era of escalating global conflict and strife – with such massive movements of displaced people, the overarching threat of climate change, and the ever-widening gap between rich and poor – there is an urgent need for compassion in human interactions. DIISC is a newly established academic centre dedicated to developing a critical and analytical understanding of the meaning and applications of compassion, in all its diverse and complex forms.

DIISC is named after Charles Darwin , whose work on evolution offered a vital perspective on “sympathy” – which we might now call altruism, empathy or compassion-the instinctive impulse shown by humans and certain other animals to come to the aid of others in distress. He considered this concern for the welfare of others to be the highest moral achievement and virtue, particularly in those relatively rare cases where it is extended beyond the family group.

As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.


Based in Shrewsbury, Darwin’s birthplace , DIISC will foster and support a new generation of scholars and future leaders with a deep understanding of the meaning, motives, scope and limitations of compassion, and its potential for changing the world for the better.
Why Compassion?
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