25 April 2024, 17:00 - 18:00
Blavatnik School of Government and online
Livestreamed - scroll down to view
Open to the public
This event is free - please register below
Book cover of The weight of nature

Penetrating, intensely personal, and impossible to put down, this is a book you need to read.

—Annie Proulx, winner of the Pulitzer Prize 

This book is a triumph.

—Bill McKibben 

It is now inarguable that climate change threatens the future of life on Earth. But in The Weight of Nature, award-winning journalist and neuroscientist Clayton Page Aldern shows that the warming climate is not just affecting our planet – it is affecting our brains and bodies too. 

Drawing on seven years of ground-breaking research, Aldern documents a burgeoning public health crisis that has gone largely unreported. Eco-anxiety, he shows us, is just the tip of the iceberg. The rapidly changing environment is directly intervening in our brain health, behaviour, decision-making and cognition in real time, affecting everything from spikes in aggravated assault to lower levels of productivity and concentration, to the global dementia epidemic. Travelling the world to meet the scientists and doctors unravelling the tangled connections between us and our environment, and reporting the stories of those who are already feeling these shifts most keenly, Aldern shows how climate change isn’t just around us, but within us.

Lucid, urgent and at times deeply moving, The Weight of Nature is a revelation, bringing to light the myriad ways in which the natural world tugs and prods at the decisions you make; how it twists and folds your memories and mental states; how this nebulous everywhere we call the environment is changing our very humanity from the inside out.

Join author Clayton Page Aldern for a short reading of his book The Weight of Nature, followed by a Q&A moderated by Alan Stein, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health and Public Policy, and a drinks reception from 18:00-18:45, where you will be able to purchase the book.

Author biography

Clayton Page Aldern is a neuroscientist turned environmental journalist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Economist, and Grist, where he is a senior data reporter. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds a master's in neuroscience and a master's in public policy from the University of Oxford. He is also a research affiliate at the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at the University of Washington. His book The Weight of Nature, on the effects of climate change on brain health, is out from Allen Lane on April 4. You can follow him on Twitter.

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