Walking enabled us to walk out of Africa and to spread as far as Alaska and Australia. It freed our hands and freed our minds. We put one foot in front of the other without thinking – yet how many of us know how we do that, or appreciate the advantages it gives us?
In this tribute to walking, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits it confers on our bodies and minds and to start a walking revolution.
In Praise of Walking celebrates this miraculous ability. Incredibly, it is a skill that has its evolutionary origins millions of years ago, under the sea. And the latest research is only now revealing how the brain and nervous system performs the mechanical magic of balancing, navigating a crowded city, or running our inner GPS system.
Walking is good for our muscles and posture, it helps to protect and repair organs, slow or turn back the ageing of our brains. Walking together to achieve a shared purpose is also a social glue that has contributed to our survival as a species.
As our lives become increasingly sedentary with a focus on office jobs and computers, cars for travel and gyms for generic exercise, we risk all this. We must start walking again, whether it’s up a mountain, down to the park, or simply to school and work. We, and our societies, will be better for it.
Copies of In Praise of Walking: The new science of how we walk and why it’s good for us will be available to buy on the day.
Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. He is Principal Investigator in, and was Director of, the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, one of Europe’s leading research centres for neuroscience. He is also a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator.
He is the author of two previous books, Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation and A Brain for Business – A Brain for Life. He loves to walk wherever and whenever he can, with long urban walks in any walkable city a particular favourite.
Doors 2.45pm. Start 3.00pm.
Entry £8, £5 concessions (free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members, who should book these tickets in advance via the Book Now button)
Event is subject to capacity, without exceptions. Space will be reserved for ticket holders.
This event is in the Brockway Room on the ground floor (Accessible. Induction loop audio). For accessibility info: conwayhall.org.uk/about/visiting-us
It is part of Conway Hall Ethical Society’s charitable programme and is tax-exempt.