Britt Wray, PhD is an author and researcher working at the forefront of climate change and mental health. Her latest book Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, is an impassioned generational perspective on how to stay sane amid climate disruption and was a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Award.
Britt is the Lead of the Special Initiative of the Chair on Climate Change and Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Stanford Medicine. Before launching that initiative, she was a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University's Center for Innovation in Global Health, Woods Institute for the Environment and the London School of Medicine's Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. She holds a PhD in science communication from the University of Copenhagen.
Britt has advised Canadian Federal Ministers, the US State Department, and multiple Fortune 500 companies. A Canadian Screen Award winner, her work in media has led her to host several podcasts, radio and TV programs with the BBC and CBC, as well as write Gen Dread, a newsletter about finding hope and taking meaningful action on the far side of climate grief: gendread.substack.com. Her TED talk "How Climate Change Affects Your Mental Health" has been viewed more than 2.5M times. She holds a Climate Psychology Certificate from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a Fellow in the Climate Health Organizing Fellowship offered by Harvard C-Change.
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). 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.
Britt is an Advisor to Climate Cares, Imperial College London, the Good Energy Project for climate storytelling, and the Climate Mental Health Network.
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