Jo Marchant

Thursday, November 24 2016 at 7:30PM

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Winchester Discovery Centre
Jewry Street
SO23 8SB

Jo Marchant

What's the talk about?

 Can our minds heal us? It’s a controversial question – alternative therapists routinely claim that our emotions and beliefs dramatically influence physical health, while sceptics from the world of conventional medicine insist any idea of “healing thoughts” is dangerous quackery. Science writer Jo Marchant, author of the New York Times bestseller Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body, takes an evidence-based approach, tracking down researchers defying conventional scientific opinion to investigate mind-body links in situations from autoimmune disease to cancer. In this fascinating talk, she travels from a lab 3,500 metres above sea level in the Alps, where she meets a neuroscientist studying the role of the mind in altitude sickness; to the Minnesota home of a woman whose spinal fracture appeared to heal after she received fake surgery; to the University of Washington’s experimental pain lab, where a virtual reality ice canyon called “Snow World” is helping patients with severe burns. She concludes that both the advocates of alternative treatments and the sceptics are missing a vital piece of the mind-body puzzle—and creating a dangerous rift in how we approach medicine. Drawing on the latest research, she reclaims the mind from the grasp of pseudoscience, and explains how we can make use of these findings in our own lives. Jo Marchant writes on everything from the future of genetic engineering to underwater archaeology for New Scientist, Nature, The Guardian, and Smithsonian magazine, and has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize twice, for Cure (2016) and for her previous book Decoding the Heavens (2009).