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Posted on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

Science Cafe Wednesday: Different Perspectives on Happiness from around the World

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

When we think about happiness, academics are not generally the first people who spring to mind. But this is an academic town, what else are we to do? Where else are we to go?

Check out the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History’s Science Café: “Happiness is Different Things to Different People: Perspectives from Around the World,” Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m,, at Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub, 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, with MacArthur “genius” and professor anthropology and women’s studies Ruth Behar and political science professor Ron Inglehart.

From the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History:

Ruth Behar, Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, has lived and worked in Cuba, Spain, and Mexico and will speak about her experiences from ethnographic and personal perspectives. Political Science Professor Ron Inglehart works on the World Values Survey - a research tool that examines how global values relate to societal and political trends. He will discuss happiness, or subjective well-being, in global perspective.

Science Cafés provide an opportunity for audiences to discuss current science topics with experts in an informal setting. Join us for hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 and a brief presentation at 6:00 pm, followed by discussion. Participants must be 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages. Everyone is welcome and invited to purchase additional food and beverages.

Sponsored by the What Makes Life Worth Living? Theme Semester of the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at