Public Speaking

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 →


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.

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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.

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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.

Elaine Fox public speaking

Forthcoming Events

Elaine will be attending the European Congress of Psychology in Stockholm, Sweden from 10-14 July ( and will give a keynote speech at the conference on The Role of Cognitive Biases in Determining Emotional Vulnerability and Emotional Resilience.

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Elaine is also giving a keynote talk at the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies conference on ‘Improving Mental Health’. The conference is in London from 16-19 July.

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Elaine will be taking part in a Salon Literary Breakfast at the Latitude Festival on Saturday 20th July. Tickets still available.

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Elaine Fox nominated for Transmission Prize

We’re delighted to announce that University of Essex professor Elaine Fox, author of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, has been
shortlisted for Salon London’s inaugural Transmission Prize. The prize will be awarded to the speaker who has done the most to engage the Salon’s audience and beyond in a new and interesting idea. Salon is launching the Transmission prize to reward non-fiction, not only in book form but also through other media and live presentation.

The winner and prize will be awarded on 7th February 2013.

Find out more about the Transmission Prize at or visit the following page to cast your vote:

Conville & Walsh announce of Transmission Prize shortlisting here:

Elaine Fox public speaking

Forthcoming talks

Are you a glass half-full, or a half-empty type of person? You can hear Elaine Fox talk about the science of Optimism and Pessimism at a number of events in the UK.

Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival (24th March)

Pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Professor Elaine Fox explores why some of us are optimists and some pessimists and what we can do about it.


Essex Book Festival (19th March)

Leading psychologist and neuroscientist, Professor Elaine Fox from the University of Essex shows how we can brighten our lives and help ourselves flourish by retraining our brains, in her highly popular new book.


Bath Literary Festival (2nd March)

Charles Fernyhough and Elaine Fox use genetics, neurology, and psychology to discuss memory and optimism.


Brighton Science Festival, Catalyst Club (28th February)

How full is that glass? And does it matter? Elaine Fox explores the connection between optimism and happiness, and shows the new techniques for training happiness into the brain.


Sceptics in the Pub, Oxford (6th February)

Thinking and drinking. That is the unlikely goal of Sceptics in the Pub. Each month a speaker is invited to talk about an area of belief and to invite critical debate. Sceptical though, challenging discussions and humour are encouraged!

Find out more…


Café Scientifique in The Minories, Colchester (9th  January)

What makes us happy or sad and how we can brighten our lives by retraining our brains will be discussed at the latest Café Scientifique talk in Colchester.