Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

The health and well-being of Planet Earth

A few years ago, I  joined Vice President Al Gore and 140 global leaders on a cruise to Antarctica. I think most people are aware that our western civilization is skewed to the priorities and values of our left-brains. We are motivated by our individuality and personal gain. Our society is set up in a hierarchy, we achieve prosperity by acquiring money and we disproportionately value the material items we surround ourselves with. Many of us live alone and an outrageous number of us (present company included) own and drive more than one automobile. Our biased left-brain priorities have led us to care more about ourselves, our individual families, and our personal profits than we care about the bigger picture of who we are as humanity and our relationship with our home planet.

This trip to Antarctica changed my life and you'll be hearing me singing a different tune, as I figure out how to incorporate this passionate understanding into the bigger (and smaller) picture of my life and what I think I'm doing here.

Harvard Brain Bank


Dr. Jill is the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank).  For many years, she traveled the country as the Singin' Scientist educating audiences about the beauty of the brain and the value of brain donation for research into the severe mental illnesses.  (Yes, she sings for brains!)  Brain donation is the gift of hope.

The Harvard Brain Bank is federally funded to acquire and distribute specific types of tissue for qualified investigators to do their research. There remains a long-term shortage of tissue donated by individuals with a psychiatric illness, their immediate family members (siblings, parents, children), as well as individuals who would be diagnosed as normal controls. These are individuals who do not have either a neurological or a psychiatric diagnosis, or have an immediate family member with a psychiatric diagnosis.

Unfortunately, stroke survivors (including myself) and anyone else with a history of brain cancer does NOT qualify for brain donation to the Harvard Brain Bank. If you are interested in some type of donation, please consider a full body donation to your local or state medical university.

If you are interested in participating in studies while you are still alive, please investigate possibilities at the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke). From knowledge will come a cure.

Click here to listen to the Brain Bank Jingle!

NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots organization in support of people with mental illness.  Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders. Dr. Jill served on the National NAMI board of directors between 1994-1997.  NAMI is dedicated to improving the total quality of life for families with severe mental illness through support, education, advocacy, research, as well as improved community services.

Dr. Jill currently serves as the President Emeritus of her local NAMI affiliate, NAMI Greater Bloomington Area.

Click here to book Jill Bolte Taylor for a speaking engagement at your conference or public event.