Latest news

The Genetics of Psychological Well-Being

Panel discussion appearance

Elaine will take part in panel discussion on the implications of genetics and happiness for society and policy at Queen Mary University of London on 7th October 2015.

The event, Is Happiness a Matter of our Genes? New Research Findings and their Implications for Society, will feature three short lectures with invited expert panel and audience discussion and is free to attend.

Download the flyer for further details.


Latitude Festival with Ruby Wax

Elaine will be in discussion with Ruby Wax at the Latitude Festival on 17th July on Nature, Nurture and Depression. It will be in the Wellcome Trust hub and organised by Salon London.

There are many routes to depression, but why do the same life experiences trigger depression in some people and not in others? The psychologist and author of Rainy Brain Sunny Brain Professor Elaine Fox is conducting cutting edge research into emotional resilience at Oxford University, and will be in conversation with comedian, author of Sane New World and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax to consider which factors contribute to our mental health. How much of our mental health do we inherit? How much is a reaction to the things that happen to us in life, and how much is under our control?

Ruby Wax and Prof Elaine Fox have some fascinating answers.

Find out more →


Rainy Brain Sunny Brain Japan

Lecture Series on Japanese TV

Following a well-received appearance on a Nippon TV programme “Another Sky” with DaiGo The Mentalist, Elaine will be presenting a series of lectures for the Hakunetsu Kyoshitsu (Heated Classroom) programme on Japanese Public Broadcaster NHK. The programme will be based on Elaine’s book Rainy Brain Sunny Brain and the first lecture broadcasts on 24th July. There will be 4 lectures in all.

Order the Japanese version of Rainy Brain Sunny Brain →

Japan Advert

Elaine Fox public speaking

Up-coming Talks

Elaine will be chairing a talk at the London School of Economics (LSE) by Professor Paul Dolan on his new book ‘Happiness by Design’ and a general discussion on “Happiness” on Wednesday 22 October. The event is in the Old Theatre, Old Building from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Find out more →


Elaine will be presenting a talk to the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics (LSE) on Thursday 23 October at 1:00 pm. She will be asking “Are there Cognitive Markers of Optimism and Wellbeing?”

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Elaine will be talking about Rainy Brain Sunny Brain’ or why some people are optimists and why some are pessimists to the National Women’s Register conference on “Aspects of Personality” in Salisbury on Saturday 25 October.

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Irish Cancer Society Talk

Elaine spoke at the Irish Cancer Society’s Annual Conference on Cancer Survivorship on Saturday 20th September in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

Find out more →


Irish Science Teachers Association

Elaine will be giving the opening address at the Irish Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in Galway on Friday 11th April.

Find out more →

In jedem steckt ein Optimist

Rainy Brain Sunny Brain released in Germany

We’re excited to announce that Rainy Brain Sunny Brain will be released in Germany on 27th January with the title In jedem steckt ein Optimist. Der Spielgel are planning a major feature on the book and will be visiting Oxford early in the new year to interview Elaine.

For our German visitors, please read on…

Optimismus kann man lernen.

Wir sind nicht zum Pessimismus verdammt. Zwar werden Menschen mit einer genetischen Disposition zum Optimismus und mit einem Talent zum Glücklichsein oder als existentielle Pessimisten geboren. Das hängt mit individuell geprägten Hirnstrukturen zusammen. Doch weil das menschliche Gehirn ungemein wandelbar ist, verfügen wir über diverse Möglichkeiten, den Blick auf das Leben zu verändern.

Elaine Fox, renommierte Neurologin und Pionierforscherin in Sachen Glücksgen, ist überzeugt: Wenn wir begreifen, wie Optimismus im Gehirn funktioniert, können wir Lebensfreude und Glück steigern. Denn je nach Umfeld und Erfahrungen bildet das Gehirn neue Zellen und erprobt andere Muster. Jenseits der billigen Behauptung vom positiven Denken können wir mit Hilfe der Hirnforschung also lernen, eine pessimistische Weltsicht zu überwinden und glücklich zu sein.

Order In jedem steckt ein Optimist from an online bookseller
Random House →
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BBC Horizon Documentary – The Truth about Personality

Elaine’s work is featured in a BBC Horizon Documentary The Truth about Personality presented by Michael Mosley and first broadcast in the summer of 2013.

Michael Mosley explores the latest science about how our personalities are created – and whether they can be changed.

Try out some of tests that we gave Michael for yourself…

Despite appearances, Mosley is a pessimist who constantly frets about the future. He wants to worry less and become more of an optimist.

He tries out two techniques to change this aspect of his personality – with surprising results.

And he travels to the frontiers of genetics and neuroscience to find out about the forces that shape all our personalities.

Find out more…

Macquarie University

Public Lecture at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Elaine will be presenting ‘From pessimist to optimist – can we really change?’ at a public lecture on Thursday 5th December 2013 at Macquarie University.

Glass half full or half empty? It often seems as if the way we deal with the world – optimism or pessimism – is hardwired into our nature. But is it? New research summarized by Professor Elaine Fox in Rainy Brain Sunny Brain shows that our personality may be far more malleable and open to change than we ever thought possible.

In an entertaining talk that takes us from genes, to the brain, to the life experiences contributing to the tendencies of someone becoming an optimist or pessimist, Elaine shows how we can brighten our lives and help ourselves flourish by retraining our brains.

Download further details…

Hungerford Literary Festival

Elaine Fox at the Hungerford Literary Festival

Professor Elaine Fox will be telling us to how to ‘retrain our brains to overcome pessimism and achieve a more positive outlook’ at the Hungerford Literary Festival on Saturday 19th October 2013.

Elaine is a pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist and has discovered that when our ‘fear brain’ or ‘pleasure brain’ becomes greater than its counterpart the results can be disastrous, leading to chronic shyness, addiction, depression and anxiety.