- August 14, 2021
- 11:00 am
- Online (U.S. Pacific Time)
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$10 - Suggested Donation
(Copies of Lucy's book, Losing Eden, are available for purchase at checkout)
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Many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world more than any other time in human history. Yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture, and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now, in the moment of our great migration from nature, more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So, what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world? Might we also be losing part of ourselves?
In her latest book, Losing Eden, Lucy interweaves her deeply personal story of recovery from addiction and depression with that of discovering the natural world and how it supported and enlivened her progress, giving her a renewed sense of belonging and purpose. Focusing on the intersection of science, wellness, and the environment, Lucy reveals that in the last decade scientists have begun to formulate theories of why people feel better after a walk in the woods and in other types of engagements with the natural world, diving into the recent data that supports evidence of biological and neurological responses. Travelling from forest schools in East London, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault via primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories and Eco therapists' couches, Lucy shares her journey through the cutting edge of human biology, neuroscience and psychology, and offers new ways of understanding our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the Earth.
Join scholar and CIIS staff member Laura Pustarfi for a conversation with Lucy that is an uplifting rallying cry for a wilder way of life—for finding asylum in the soil and joy in the trees—which might just help us to save the living planet, as well as ourselves.
Lucy Jones is a writer and journalist based in Hampshire, England. She previously worked at NME and the Daily Telegraph, and her writing on culture, science, and nature has been published in BBC Earth, BBC Wildlife, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and the New Statesman. Her first book, Foxes Unearthed, was celebrated for its 'brave, bold and honest' (Chris Packham) account of our relationship with the fox, winning the Society of Authors' Roger Deakin Award 2015.
Laura Pustarfi, PhD, is a scholar and writer focusing on trees in the Western philosophical tradition. She completed her doctoral work in Philosophy and Religion with a focus on Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion at CIIS in 2019. Her dissertation, Arboreality: Revisioning Trees in the Western Paradigm, examines trees and plants in Western thought with particular focus on philosophical literature in order to explore an arboreal and vegetal ontology and ethics that respects plants themselves.
Her interests include integral ecology, environmental philosophy, especially eco-phenomenology, and religion and ecology. She also has an enduring interest in the arts. She currently works as the Associate Director for the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research certificate program (CPTR) at CIIS. Her personal website is www.laurapustarfi.com.
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