This event happened in the past (2019 edition)

What Makes us Happy? Reading the Human Mind

With Professor Robert Winston

This is an event from the 2019 edition

Supported by The Assembly House Trust

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Can we ever really understand what makes us happy? Professor Winston examines the role of brain imaging, hormone study, sexuality, child development, pharmacology and psychological research in understanding how science may help us be happier. Happy people tend to live longer, and recent research suggests we tend to get happier as we get older. Is this simply because we become more forgetful?

What led to French philosopher Michel de Montaigne thanking fortune for the pain he suffered? Or why did Mahler apparently stop composing after his meeting in Holland with Sigmund Freud? Why was Alfred J Prufrock in T.S. Eliot’s poem so chronically depressed and suffering so much lack of self-esteem? Shall we ever really understand what makes us happy? To some extent, the ability to be happy is inherited, but social scientists have emphasized that various environmental influences – health, a stable society, economic advantages, play a major role.

Can we make ourselves happier and if so, will knowledge of brain function and how we might manipulate it give us more fulfilled lives? Plus Q&A and book signing.

Robert Winston
Credit: Murray Sanders

Professor Robert Winston, one of the most instantly recognisable scientists in the country and is Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College. His research led to the development of gynaecological microsurgery in the 1970’s and various improvements in reproductive medicine, subsequently adopted internationally, particularly in the field of endocrinology and IVF. He was created a life peer in 1995 and has been awarded honorary doctorates at sixteen universities. His passion for research into reproductive diseases is channelled into the Genesis Research Trust which he founded and now chairs, and has raised over £80 million.

Professor Winston has been responsible for making science understandable to generations, from Your Life in Their Hands on BBC Television 1979 – 1987 and the BAFTA award winning The Human Body in 1998 to more recent programmes on the human mind. He is one of our leading specialists on fertility and IVF and popularised the subject with television series such as Making Babies in 1996, The Secret Life of Twins in 1999 and Superhuman. He even appeared in Radio 4’s The Archers as a fertility consultant.

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Plus Q&A and book signing.

Wednesday 23 October
Venue: The Assembly House
Cost: £12
Age: 12+

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