CSUN  Wordmark
Page Description

The following syllabus page is a three column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.

The Richard W. Smith Endowment in Cultural Studies

Past Lectures

Upcoming Lecture


Paul Zak

“Recent Research on Brain Chemistry: A Revolution in the Sciences of Good and Evil” with Paul Zak, Ph.D.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm, at the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451

Paul Zak is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. Zak also serves as Professor of Neurology at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has been a Visiting Professor at California Institute of Technology, UC Riverside, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the School of Business at Arizona State University.

He has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard. During his doctoral studies he was a visiting scholar at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., and a Boettner Fellow in Financial Gerontology at the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Zak is credited with the first published use of the term “neuroeconomics” and has been a vanguard in this new discipline. His lab discovered in 2004 that an ancient chemical in our brains, oxytocin, allows us to determine whom to trust. This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for modern civilizations and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

A featured TED speaker in 2011, Zak has also appeared on: Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Fox & Friends, ABC Evening News, NOVA Science Now, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, The Economist, Scientific American, Fast Company, Forbes, and many others. His popular blog, The Moral Molecule, is featured on the Psychology Today website with a dedicated, active following.




About Richard Smith

Richard W. Smith












Named CSUN's 1991-1992 Professor of the Year, two-time Distinguished Faculty Award winner Richard Smith had the care of many students' minds during his 41-year career at CSUN. His aim always was to open up those minds, to make his scholars think like cultural psychologists, " from the perspectives of other peoples, or other cultures."

In establishing the Richard W. Smith Endowment for Cultural Studies, Smith will continue looking after his students. The endowment will support activities within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences promoting the study of indigenous culture, including the Richard W. Smith Professor in Cultural Studies and the Richard W. Smith Student Award in Cultural Studies.

Twice nominated by his students for "Who's Who Among American Teachers" and twice the recipient of the CSUN Student Ambassador's Polished Apple Award, Smith is credited with a "profound and lasting impact" on the lives of those he taught.