Friday, August 21, 2009

Doctor to discuss why we need to play

Double-header lecture set for Monday at Community Library

Express Staff Writer

Stuart Brown will present his book at The Community Library in Ketchum on Monday, Aug. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Photo by

The Community Library in Ketchum will host a double-header of lectures on Monday, Aug. 24, and it's no coincidence that both authors have valuable information and assertions about living in modern times.

First to speak will be returning Sun Valley Writers' Conference attendee David Macaulay at 6 p.m., followed by Dr. Stuart Brown at 7:30 p.m.

Macaulay's work concentrates on explaining design, which he writes about in his books "Cathedral," "City," "Castle," "Pyramid," "Mill," "Underground," "Unbuilding" and "Mosque." His book "The Way We Work," and more recent "The New Way Things Work" dive into the design of the human body.

Going one step further, Brown will talk about how play is not only healthy but essential to living. His most recent book, "Play, How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul," reveals how play acts as one of nature's prime "organizers" of the trillions of connections that result in survival behavior such as sleeping and dreaming.

Brown is trained in general and internal medicine, psychiatry and clinical research. He first recognized the importance of play by discovering its absence in the life stories of murderers and felony drunken drivers.

His years of clinical practice affirmed the importance and need for healthy play throughout the human life cycle, and his later evaluation of highly creative individuals revealed the centrality of playfulness to their success and well-being.

His recent years of independent scholarship and exploration of the evolution of human and animal play have helped to focus play as part of a general cultural consciousness and to the establishment of the Institute For Play. The institute is a nonprofit organization committed to bringing the unrealized knowledge, practices and benefits of play into public life.

Brown was the executive producer of the three-part PBS series "The Promise of Play." His scientific and popular writings have identified him as the foremost "practical champion of the knowledge of play."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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