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Ethical Matters:
The Science of Being Social

23rd June 2024 · 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Brockway Room | Virtual event

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Ethical Matters: The Science of Being Social

In the early 1960s, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley embarked on a mission to identify the key factors affecting health and longevity. Their findings, famously known as the Alameda 7, are familiar: abstain from smoking, drink alcohol in moderation, maintain seven to eight hours of sleep per night, engage in regular exercise, consume balanced meals, sustain a moderate weight, and eat breakfast. However, years later, this same team uncovered an eighth factor, one that eclipsed all others in importance: social connection.

Enhanced social connection has been linked to heightened creativity, improved financial stability, better health outcomes, and increased work productivity. Yet, forging new friendships can often feel daunting. In his illuminating book, The Laws of Connection, David Robson achieves two significant objectives: he delves into the captivating science underpinning the impacts of social connection, and he elucidates research demonstrating that we are inherently more adept at socializing than we realize. Being socially connected need not entail amassing numerous acquaintances; rather, it can be as simple as cultivating one genuine, profound bond with another individual. As Robson illustrates, we all stand to gain from understanding and applying the principles of social connection.

David Robson, the recipient of the 2022 Mental Health Story of the Year award at the MJA Annual Awards and a finalist for Best British Science Journalist of the Year, is a distinguished science writer specializing in the complexities of the human brain, body, and behaviour. Following his graduation with a mathematics degree from Cambridge University, he served as a features editor at New Scientist for five years before transitioning to BBC Future, where he held the position of senior journalist for an additional five years. Robson’s book The Laws of Connection will be available on the day.

Age Recommendation: 16+

Price: Standard (in person) £9 • Concessions (in person) £6 • Standard (online) £6 Members FREE

Access Information

Due to the age and Grade Il listing of the building, there is no lift access to rooms above the ground floor.

All the ground-floor rooms are fully accessible by wheelchair. Main Hall (street access, step-free), Brockway Room (street access, step-free), Bertrand Russell Room (street access, shallow ramp), Hive Cafe (street access, step-free), There is also an accessible toilet on the ground floor opposite the Brockway Room.


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Picturing Nonconformity: LGBT Humanist Heritage Opening

Further Info

This event will be held with an in-person audience at Conway Hall and online via livestream. Everyone wishing to join this event must register for a ticket in advance.

If you have any accessibility enquiries, please contact us at / 020 7405 1818.

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