Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body
Watch a full video report of the Tans lecture
Have you ever felt a surge of adrenaline after narrowly avoiding an accident? Salivated at the sight (or thought) of a sour lemon? Felt turned on just from hearing your partner’s voice? If so, then you’ve experienced how dramatically the workings of your mind can affect your body.
Although the mind can clearly influence physiology, there is scepticism about the idea of “healing” thoughts and beliefs. Recently, however, scientists from a range of fields have been uncovering evidence that our mental state can play a crucial role in determining the symptoms we experience as well as the underlying processes of disease. Placebos trigger biological changes similar to those caused by drugs. Moods predict complication rates during surgery. Immune responses are guided by psychological cues such as taste and smell.
In this lecture, Jo Marchant will discuss the potential – and limits – of the mind to heal, and ask how we might harness these principles in medical care.
The Tans lecture is organised every year to honour dr. J. Tans (1912-1993) the founding father of Maastricht University.
Tues 1 November, 8 pm
About the Lecturer
Jo Marchant is a science journalist and author based in London. She trained as a scientist and has a PhD in genetics and medical microbiology from St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in London, and an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London.
Jo has worked as an editor at New Scientist and at Nature and has written on topics from the future of genetic engineering to underwater archaeology. Her articles have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Smithsonian and Mosaic.
Her radio and TV appearances include BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week and Today programmes; NPR's Fresh Air and Science Friday; CNN and National Geographic. She has lectured around the world, including at the Royal Institution in London, the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Getty Villa in Los Angeles and the Dutch-Flemish Institute in Cairo.
Jo is author of Decoding the Heavens: Solving the mystery of the world’s first computer, shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books; The Shadow King: The bizarre afterlife of King Tut’s mummy, published in 2013; and the New York Times bestseller Cure: A journey into the science of mind over body, published in 2016.
For more information about her work, including articles and books, please see https://jomarchant.com/