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Top neuroscientist writer inspires Happy Brains at Monmouth Literary Festival

June 25th, 2018
Dr Dean Burnett at this year’s festival.

Leading neuroscientist writer, Dr Dean Burnett, enthralled students today by revealing the quirkier workings of the brain at this year’s Monmouth Literary Festival.

Dr Burnett’s appearance at the Savoy Theatre marked the very first author visit of the 2018 festival – held from Monday 25th June – Friday 29th June

Attended by students from Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth Comprehensive, Dr Burnett delivered a fascinating talk on aspects of the brain that – in his own words – might be ‘weird, strange and different’ from those that normally come up.

Topics covered included the evolution of the brain, how different parts work and the chemicals it uses, as well as light-hearted facts such as the science behind travel sickness and the revelation that rats can laugh! Monmouth School for Girls student Gina said: “I thought it was very informative and the tricky concepts were explained in such an easy way.”

Dr Burnett’s first book – The Idiot Brain – was an international best-seller published in over 20 countries, and his Brain Flapping blog on The Guardian science network has had over 15 million views.

Currently a lecturer at the Cardiff University Centre for Medical Education, Dr Burnett also spoke about his life and how he became a neuroscientist, before fielding questions from the students following his talk.

Monmouth Literary Festival is a unique collaboration between Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Monmouth School for Boys.

The week-long festival – planned by the students – aims to share the talents and diversity of the young people within our community, to enhance their learning outcomes and to encourage a love of reading and literature.

Speaking about the festival, Dr Burnett said: “It was a lovely event and experience, especially encouraging to see a student-led organisation.”

The festival also includes events for local primary schools and the community. It has reached out to thousands of students from over 10 local schools over the past few years.

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