Festival of Ideas: Ruby Wax - How to be Human Sold Out
"It’s a miracle evolution worked at all. What were the chances that, out of some stardust, we would make it through to now with our full set of teeth intact? No other planet could pull this off. They haven't made a single cell of anything interesting, while we've already sold 12 trillion McDonald burgers.”
- Ruby Wax
Comedian, writer and performer Ruby Wax, with some help from monk Gelong Thubten and neuroscientist Ash Ranpura, has delved deeply into what it means to be human in an age obsessed with the latest technology. She now provides a manual to upgrade our minds so they don't get left behind.
In this event Ruby Wax and Gelong Thubten are in conversation with Jenny Lacey to discuss brains, bodies and mindfulness.
Ruby Wax is a successful comedian, TV writer and performer of over 25 years. She additionally holds a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University, and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her services to mental health. She is the author of books Sane New World and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, and has toured all over the world with the accompanying one-woman shows. In November 2017, she was announced as the president of the UK’s leading relationship support charity Relate.
After a dramatic wake-up call due to stress and ill health, Gelong Thubten left behind the glamorous life of an actor and ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk at Kagyu Samye Ling in Scotland, Europe's oldest and largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery. He has spent over six years in intensive meditation retreats, and he has been trained by some of the world’s greatest masters of meditation. His work is often featured in the media, and he is well known for bringing mindfulness into the workplace and teaching people to integrate it into their busy lives.
Ash Ranpura is a neuroscientist and clinical neurologist who has been active in brain research for over 20 years. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale University, completed an M.D. at the Medical College of Ohio, and carried out his Ph.D. research at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in Queen Square, London, one of the most prestigious neurological centres in the world. He was a co-founder of Café Scientifique at the Photographers' Gallery in London, a founding editor at BrainConnection magazine in San Francisco, and a writer at National Public Radio's "Science Friday" in New York. He frequently chairs public science events for organisations including the British Council and the American Medical Association.