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Natural benefits: human-nature relationships in the contemporary world

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George Square Lecture Theatre, The University of Edinburgh

George Square

Edinburgh

EH8 9LD

United Kingdom

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Please join us for the Our Changing World Lecture, "Natural benefits: human-nature relationships in the contemporary world", with Dr Nina Morris.

Have you built a woodland den recently? When was the last time you walked barefoot through the grass? Do you let your children climb trees?

There is widespread acknowledgement that exposure to nature is crucial to our well-being and quality of life. Children with easy access to nature, for example, have been shown to be more able to cope with stressful situations and are happier, physically and mentally healthier, and more creative than their peers. There is growing concern, however, that people in the developed world are living an increasingly ‘disconnected existence’ with the boundaries between ourselves and others, humans and nature becoming ever more stark. This is thought to be having a detrimental impact not just on our health and happiness, but also, our understanding of, and relationship with, the natural world. Risk-averse parenting practices, the current education system, and advances in technology are all said to be having a negative impact on children’s experiential opportunities including a loss of independent mobility and freedom to explore, limiting opportunities for informal outdoor play and outdoor learning, and restricting access to (or curbing the desire to explore) natural environments.

This lecture will explore some of the key issues and questions relating to contemporary debates regarding human-nature relationships. What is ‘nature’ and where might we find it? Are we more disconnected than previous generations? What evidence is there to suggest that contact with nature is beneficial? What might we do to redress the balance?

Dr Nina Morris is a lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geosciences.


Doors open at 6.15pm.

For more information on the series please visit:

www.ocw.ed.ac.uk

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Location

George Square Lecture Theatre, The University of Edinburgh

George Square

Edinburgh

EH8 9LD

United Kingdom

View Map

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