2024 McGovern Lecture

A Medicine More Fit for Humanity

Iain McGilchristIain McGilchrist headshot

Psychiatrist, neuroscience researcher,
philosopher & literary scholar

Tuesday, April 2, 5:30pm
Great Hall, Trent Semans Center

Reception to follow  I  Open to the public
Free parking in Research Drive Garage

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We live in an age in which we cede more and more of life to machines, raising questions for the practice of medicine.  What is the calling of medicine?  Is it not to heal human beings?  But what does it mean to heal?  Is a human being just a body?  Is the body just a machine?  Is a doctor just a mechanic?  Can machines substitute for human skill?  Can they erode human skill?  How should we think of death?  What, after all, is a good life?  It’s unlikely we would all agree on the answers to these questions, but they do all need to be asked. And understanding the role played by lateralization in brain function may guide us towards what are at least better answers to these pressing questions. 

Iain McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Consultant Emeritus of the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, London, a former research Fellow in Neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch. Dr. McGilchrist is the author of The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. His most recent book is The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World. He now lives on the Isle of Skye, off the coast of North West Scotland, where he continues to write, and lecture worldwide.

This lecture is made possible by the McGovern Prize Endowment.
The McGovern Prize is awarded to an individual for outstanding contributions to the art & science of medicine.