Darcia Narvaez, PhD
Darcia Narvaez is a Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of Notre Dame. She is the founder of the public and professional educational outreach project The Evolved Nest Initiative whose nonprofit mission is to share her science research into developing appropriate baselines for lifelong human wellness by meeting the biological needs of infants. This wellness-informed baseline is imperative at this time as the United States ranks 41st out of 41 developed countries in public policies that support families.
In a 2020 analysis of top scientists, Narvaez emerged in the top 2% of scientists worldwide. Of the eight million scientists in the world, the analysis concerned those who had at least five articles published in scientific journals between 1996 and 2017-- over six million scientists. Individuals were ranked according to various criteria, including number of citations of their work.
In 2022, she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS), the largest international body of professional scientists in the world and publisher of the prestigious journal Science. Narvaez was honored for her distinguished contributions illuminating typical and atypical development in terms of well-being, morality and sustainable wisdom. Narvaez examines how early life experience — the “evolved nest” — influences moral functioning and well-being in children and adults. She integrates evolutionary, anthropological, neurobiological, clinical, developmental and education sciences in her work. The election of AAAS fellows is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers.
Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen for the 2017 Expanded Reason Award from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries. Narvaez received the prize, including a substantial monetary award, at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City on September 27, 2017. The book also received the William James Award from the American Psychological Association in 2015.
Narvaez hosted interdisciplinary conferences at the University of Notre Dame regarding early experience and human development in 2010, 2012, and 2014. In 2016 she organized a conference on Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous KnowHow for Global Flourishing. (Click on the links to see the full conferences in video on the Evolved Nest's YouTube Channel.)
She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, see The Science page for listings.
She is the president of the venerable American nonprofit, Kindred World, a contributing editor to Kindred, the first global eco-parenting magazine, an advisory board member of Attachment Parenting International and the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health, APPPAH.
Her recent book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom (2014), won the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association, as well as the 2017 Expanded Reason Award. She is former executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education.