The study of wisdom has long been a scholarly activity confined largely to disciplines of the humanities such as Philosophy and Classics. With the Defining Wisdom project coordinated at the University of Chicago from 2007-2011, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, 23 new projects were carried out by scholars and scientists around the world. Beyond the substantial academic productivity of this project, the researchers proposed an initial definition of wisdom to serve as a starting point for future wisdom research. Following on from this initial work, the Chicago Wisdom Project starting in June, 2012, brings together a group of investigators at the University of Chicago across the sciences and humanities to further develop research on wisdom investigating how expertise and experience are important in wisdom. Howard C. Nusbaum discussed the history and progress of wisdom research at the University of Chicago and outlined a direction for future developments in wisdom research and the idea of a field of wisdom science.
Howard C. Nusbaum is a Professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Psychology and the Committee on Computational Neuroscience and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. He studies learning and attention in perceptual understanding of spoken language and music, the role of sleep in learning and understanding, and the interaction of social, cognitive, and affective processes. In 2012, he received the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and in 2007, the University of Chicago Future Faculty Mentorship Award. Nusbaum is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and Associate Editor for the journal Brain and Language. He has edited books on speech and language and has published scientific papers on speech perception, language understanding, perceptual learning, attention and working memory, gesture, neuroeconomics, the neurobiology and comparative biology of language, and the role of sleep in learning. He has served as Co-Investigator on the Defining Wisdom Project, which was funded by the John Templeton Foundation to support 23 scholars and scientists studying wisdom and as Co-Investigator on the John Templeton Foundation funded Science of Virtues project, which supported 20 scientists and scholars carrying out virtues research.