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Bookworm of Edwards hosts free virtual event on why friendship is important during the pandemic

Science journalist Lydia Denworth became interested in the neurological implications of friendships when she wrote her first book about environmental science.
Special to the Daily

With health on the forefront of everyone’s mind, during the pandemic and in general, it’s easy to get bogged down in the physical. But according to Lydia Denworth, we really should be focusing on our social connections.

Join science journalist Denworth in conversation, to discuss her new book “Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond.” This new master text on human connection offers a timely and optimistic vision of human nature through the ties that bind us together.

Denworth did not grow up wanting to work in science.

“I am the most unlikely science journalist,” she said. “I always did the bare minimum in science all through school and it was the last thing that interested me.”

It wasn’t until midway through her journalism career, while writing her first book, that she discovered the passion for it.

“I came to the story of my first book, which was an environmental science book, from a place of interest in health and welfare,” Denworth said. “There was a scientist at the core of the story, and so in order to tell the story, I had to know the science.”

Now, three books later, her focus has shifted to a somewhat unexpected topic.

“About five years ago, I went to a social science conference and everyone was talking about friendship,” Denworth said, “It intrigued me because you had all these scientists take such a serious approach to something so every day and made it seem new.”

What really struck Denworth was the way in which the conversation of friendship seemed to shift the focus of an entire field of study.

“The study of neuroscience began with studying memory, learning, and similar things, which is obviously very important,” Denworth said. “But what scientists are really beginning to understand is just how much of our everyday behavior is social. We are just now beginning to realize how much real estate in the brain that activity takes up.”

Her new book, “Friendship,” explores the ways in which friendship helps both human beings and animals to not only continue to survive but to thrive.

“Friendship is just as important for your health as diet and exercise. We know for a fact that isolation is truly bad for you. So when we are forced to be shut up in our houses for months, it is critical that we maintain some kind of social contact,” she said.

It is because of this that Denworth thinks that friendship is more important to understand than ever.

“Friendship is, at its core, being there in times of crisis and when it is hard to do that, we have to get creative,” Denworth said. “I think that this time has helped remind us of how essential our friendships and relationships really are. I only hope that by having this deeper understanding and appreciation for them, people will continue to treat friendships like the absolute priority they are.”

If you go …

What: Author Lydia Denworth in conversation with the Bookworm

When: Tuesday, June 16, 5 p.m.

Where: Zoom and Facebook Live

Cost: Free

More information: Call 970-926-7323 or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.


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