Dr. Britt Wray is the Director of CIRCLE at Stanford Psychiatry, a research and action initiative focused on Community-minded Interventions for Resilience, Climate Leadership and Emotional wellbeing at the Stanford School of Medicine.
Britt is the author of two books, Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis (Knopf 2022), which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, and Rise of the Necrofauna: the Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction (Greystone Books 2017). She is the recipient of the 2023 Canadian Eco-Hero Award and a top award winner of the National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communications, given by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures.
Britt holds a PhD in science communication from the University of Copenhagen and she completed her postdoctoral training at Stanford Medicine’s Center for Innovation in Global Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. As a practicing science communicator, she has hosted several podcasts, radio and TV programs with the BBC, NPR, CBC, and is a Canadian Screen Award winner.
She has spoken at TED and the World Economic Forum and is a Chicago Council on Global Affairs Next Generation Climate Changemaker. Britt is also the creator of Gen Dread (gendread.substack.com), a popular newsletter about building courage and taking meaningful action on the far side of climate grief.
Mental health impacts of climate change
Psychosocial support for eco-distress
Youth mental health
Britt’s first book, Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction was published by Greystone Books in collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation, and was named a "best book of the year" by the New Yorker in 2017. Her second book Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis (Knopf ) was published in 2022 and named a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, BBC, CBC, Washington Post, LA Times, National Post, Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Wired, among others. She has written for international outlets including CNN, TIME, The Walrus, BBC Future, Motherboard, The Globe and Mail, and The Scientist. She was a 2019 TED Resident, 2019 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good, and 2020 Writer in Residence at Mesa Refuge.
Britt has a PhD in Science Communication (with a focus on synthetic biology) from the University of Copenhagen, an Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design from OCAD University, a BSc (Hon) in Biology from Queen's University, and a Graduate Diploma in Communications from Concordia University. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Institute for Journalism. The interactive audio diary platform Aurator, inspired by her PhD research on the function of emotion in science communication about synthetic biology, won the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) Making & Doing award.
Britt has been making radio since she was 19. Along with Ellie Cosgrave she hosted the BBC podcast Tomorrow's World. She has also hosted CBC’s Radio’s national science show Quirks and Quarks and produced numerous other programs for CBC (on Radio 1, 2 and 3), NPR and celebrated podcasts such as Love and Radio. Though seldom on camera as compared with on air, Britt hosted the CBC The Nature of Things feature TV documentary, The Nature of Invention.