Computational understandings of our perception and behaviour are becoming dominant but can seem inhospitable to contemplation, consciousness and compassion. By casting the brain as an organ for uncertainty reduction, I propose we can make conceptual room for those vital aspects of our lives. I illustrate this approach with examples from research on self, optimism, and morality. Useful insights about cultivating wisdom and compassion might follow from this perspective.


Professor Jakob Hohwy
Professor Jakob Hohwy

Jakob Hohwy is Professor of Philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the Director of the Monash Centre for Consciousness and contemplative Studies (M3CS), which conducts theoretical and empirical research in consciousness science, contemplative studies, and philosophy of mind. In his work, Jakob collaborates with neuroscientists, psychologists, and psychiatrists on consciousness, self, mental health, and wellbeing. Jakob is the author of The Predictive Mind (OUP 2013), which explains perception, consciousness, and self through the notion of the brain as primarily engaged in uncertainty reduction.

About Compassion Symposium

This cross-disciplinary symposium is designed to bring together academics, clinicians, researchers, and students from different disciplines within The University of Queensland and from the community, to present on how compassion is or could be a part of their research, studies, or practice.

The compassion symposium consists of the free keynote address, and the full-day conference.

About the Event

The School of Psychology at The University of Queensland is delighted to announce the return of the UQ Compassion Symposium for 2024. The ninth iteration of this beloved event, the Symposium will bring together researchers, clinicians and students from a range of disciplines to showcase compassion-based research and practice.

Registration for the Keynote Address and the Compassion Conference is now open. See below for full details and to register.

Key dates


Friday 27 September 2024 (commencing at 6pm, pre-drinks and nibbles from 5pm)
Location: Abel Smith Lecture Theatre, St Lucia Campus


Saturday 28 September 2024 (registration from 8:30am, 9:00am - 4:00pm)
Location: Oral Health Centre, Herston Campus

The 2024 full-day format will again include two concurrent streams to provide an array of session options to conference delegates. Presenters will be given a 30-minute time-slot, which includes time for questions and discussion.

Registration details will be released shortly. Please note this will be an ‘in person’ only event

Call for presenters

The UQ School of Psychology's Compassionate Mind Research Group is pleased to invite submissions for presentations for the 2024 UQ Compassion Symposium conference on Saturday September 28.

We are interested in research and practical applications of compassion across the lifespan (children, teens, adults, older adults) and in multiple contexts (therapy, workplace, school).

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Compassion
  • Self-compassion
  • Mindfulness
  • Empathy
  • Altruism
  • Morality
  • Positive psychology 
  • Forgiveness
  • Emotions (e.g. shame, anger)
  • Intervention research
  • Assessment research

Application Requirements

Applications to present should include the following information:

Personal Information:

  • Full name
  • Organisation/affiliation
  • Email address
  • Contact number
  • Brief professional bio (250 words max) to be included in the conference program
  • Professional photo

Presentation/Poster Information

  • Presentation or poster title
  • Abstract/summary (250 words max)
  • Focus (research, practice, philosophy, etc.)
  • Format (lecture, workshop, demonstration)

Submission and review

Please submit your completed application via the link below. Submissions close Friday 19 July. All submissions will be notified via email of the status of their application. All accepted speakers will receive free admission to the Symposium.

Submit your application


St Lucia Campus
Abel Smith Lecture Theatre