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Mental wellbeing in the field from Antarctica to Mars

Event schedule details

Sunday 30 June

12.00-12.45

Event location details

Flett Lecture Theatre

Natural History Museum

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Speaker: Cedric John

The scientific exploration of the natural world often requires significant time away from the familiar surroundings of the office. Research can take place in harsh and isolated conditions, from high mountains to arid deserts.

Cut off from the outside world, scientists and their support staff become their own tribe with their own sets of rules, as they face struggles and success in equal measure. Good mental health is key to the success of such voyages but can be severely tested by the experience. And with humanity likely to soon embark on its first extra planetary journeys, such as manned missions to Mars, what we learn about human psychology in Antarctica and in the Sahara will become increasingly important.

In this talk, geologist Cedric John will discuss his own experiences in the field. Having led research teams in the deserts of North America and the Middle East, he will cover the highs and lows, the sense of collective achievement and the stress, anxiety and unease. And he will argue that with the right planning many of the negative aspects of field work can be avoided, or at least managed.

This is part of our ‘Great Expeditions’ talks series. Take a look at the other talks in this series.


This event is free but booking is available to guarantee a place. 
Please arrive ten minutes before the event begins. If you arrive after the event has started, your ticket will be reallocated.
Limited tickets will be available on the day, but we recommend pre-booking to guarantee a place.

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Event categories

  • Adults
  • Talk