The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental. Friends, after all, are the family we choose. But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential, and how do they affect our bodies and our minds? Award-winning science journalist Lydia Denworth’s Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond is a revelatory investigation of friendship, with profound implications for our understanding of what humans and animals alike need to thrive across a lifetime. Adam Grant, Ph.D. (FAN ’14, ’16) named Friendship one of the best leadership books of 2020.
Denworth takes us in search of friendship’s biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. She finds friendship to be as old as early life on the African savannas—when tribes of people grew large enough for individuals to seek fulfillment of their social needs outside their immediate families. She meets scientists at the frontiers of brain and genetics research and discovers that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, our genomes, and our cardiovascular and immune systems; its opposite, loneliness, can kill. Denworth shows how our bodies and minds are designed for friendship across life stages, the processes by which healthy social bonds are developed and maintained, and how friendship is changing in the age of social media.
Denworth is also co-author, with Dana Suskind, MD (FAN ’15, ’22), of the New York Times bestseller Parent Nation, and has written two other books of popular science: I Can Hear You Whisper and Toxic Truth. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, and many other publications.
This event suitable for youth 12+.
NOTE: No registration or proof of vaccination is required. Masks are recommended but not required. Parking available in lots at RDHS and Wilmette Junior High School.
This event is presented by Family Action Network (FAN). Gorton Center is proud to partner with FAN as a sponsor of this event to bring this programming to our patrons.