Category Archives: Presentations

Guest Lecture at James Cook University, Singapore. ‘Living well with nature in a wired world’ 18 May 2017

I’m excited to be invited as a Visiting Scholar this May at James Cook University, Singapore. As part of my work there I will present a public lecture on Thursday, 7pm 18 May 2017. If you’re in Singapore then and would like to come along, please follow the link below to the University website.

Living well with nature in a wired world: an introduction to technobiophilia
Do you worry that wired life is taking you away from nature? You may be surprised to learn that you could be getting your daily dose of the natural world through your screensaver, or in virtual reality, or simply by ‘liking’ pictures of sunsets on Facebook. This talk explains the concept of biophilia, the deep genetic memory of our early evolution in the ancient wild, and introduces the concept of technobiophilia. Dr Thomas explains how our ancestral attraction to nature can soothe our connected lives and help us to feel better without logging off.

Video of my webinar – Technobiophilia: soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives

Video of my webinar for the Biophilic Cities Project, 13 May 2015. 

(The name I stumbled over in the Q&A was of course Wallace J. Nichols’ book Blue Mind. I highly recommend it.)

Technobiophilia: soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives
In her 2013 book Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace, Sue Thomas interrogates the prevalence online of nature-derived metaphors, and comes to a surprising conclusion. The root of this trend, she believes, lies in biophilia, defined by E.O. Wilson as ‘the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes’. Working from the strong thread of biophilia which runs through our online lives, she expands Wilson’s definition to the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes *as they appear in technology*’, a phenomenon she calls ‘technobiophilia’. Attention to technobiophilia and its application to urban design offers a way to make our digital lives integrated, healthy, and mindful. In this talk she outlines the key elements of the concept and shows how, even in an intensely digital culture, the restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, thus soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives.

Here is a PDF of the slightly revised presentation, with a few more links added and a couple of formatting issues fixed.

RESCHEDULED: Webinar, Wed 13th May 2015: Technobiophilia – soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives

BC_webinarsRescheduled from last week, this webinar will now take place on Wednesday 13th May 2015 at 17.30 GMT / 12:30pm EST
Register here

FREE TO ATTEND

I’m honoured to be invited to speak in the Fostering Connections with Nature webinar series organised by The Biophilic Cities Project. The project conducts research and policy work on biophilic cities, both domestically and internationally, by Professor Tim Beatley and his team at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. Its principal aim is to advance the theory and practice of planning for biophilic cities, through a combination of collaborative research, dialogue and exchange, teaching.

Technobiophilia: soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives
Wednesday May 13th 2015, 17.30 GMT / 12:30pm EST
Register here


In her 2013 book Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace, Sue Thomas interrogates the prevalence online of nature-derived metaphors, and comes to a surprising conclusion. The root of this trend, she believes, lies in biophilia, defined by E.O. Wilson as ‘the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes’. Working from the strong thread of biophilia which runs through our online lives, she expands Wilson’s definition to the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes *as they appear in technology*’, a phenomenon she calls ‘technobiophilia’. Attention to technobiophilia and its application to urban design offers a way to make our digital lives integrated, healthy, and mindful. In this talk she outlines the key elements of the concept and shows how, even in an intensely digital culture, the restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, thus soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives. Continue reading RESCHEDULED: Webinar, Wed 13th May 2015: Technobiophilia – soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives