This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Friday 9 June 2023, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Why can’t we think straight when hungry? What’s the point of nightmares? And why is it so impossible to forget embarrassing memories?

Emotions can be a pain. After losing his dad to COVID-19, neuroscientist Dean Burnett found himself wondering what life would be like without them. And so, he decided to put his feelings under the microscope - for science.

Let Dean take you on an incredible journey of discovery, stretching from the origins of life to the end of the universe, examining questions such as:

  • Why would we ever follow our gut?
  • Were things really better in the old days?
  • Why is doomscrolling so addictive?
  • And how can sad music make us happier?

Combining expert analysis, brilliant humour and powerful insights into the grieving process, Dean will uncover how our emotions don’t hold us back - they make us who we are.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

Image credit: © Faber and Faber

About the speaker

Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist, lecturer, blogger, podcaster and science communicator. He is the author of the the popular Guardian Science blog ‘Brain Flapping’ (now ‘Brain Yapping’ on the Cosmic Shambles Network), the bestselling books The Idiot Brain, The Happy Brain, Why Your Parents Are Driving You Up The Wall And What To Do About It, and Psycho-Logical. His fifth book, Emotional Ignorance, was published in January 2023.

Connect with Dean on Twitter


University of York