Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: 'The Urban Brain: Mental Health in the Vital City'

24 May 2022, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

The Urban Brain: Mental Health in the Vital City

Join us for the launch of the IAS Honorary Professor Nikolas Rose and Professor Des Fitzgerald's most recent book. Respondents: Prof Helene Joffe and Prof Laura Vaughan

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground
Ground floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building
United Kingdom

Most of the world’s people now live in cities and millions have moved from the countryside to the rapidly growing megacities of the global south. How does the urban experience shape the mental lives of those living in and moving to cities today? Sociologists study cities as centers of personal progress and social innovation, but also exclusion, racism, and inequality. Psychiatrists try to explain the high rates of mental disorders among urban dwellers, especially migrants. But the split between the social and life sciences has hindered understanding of how urban experience is written into the bodies and brains of urbanites. In The Urban Brain, Nikolas Rose and Des Fitzgerald seek to revive the collaboration between sociology and psychiatry about these critical questions. Reexamining the relationship between the city and the brain, Rose and Fitzgerald explore the ways cities shape the mental health and illness of those who inhabit them.

Drawing on the social and life sciences, The Urban Brain takes an ecosocial approach to the vital city, in which humans live and thrive but too often get sick and suffer. The result demonstrates what we can gain by a vitalist approach to the mental lives of those migrating to and living in cities, focusing on the ways that humans make, remake, and inhabit their urban lifeworlds.


Professor Nikolas Rose

(IAS Honorary Professor)

Professor Des Fitzgerald

(Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Exeter)


Prof Helene Joffe

(Professor of Psychology, UCL)

Prof Laura Vaughan

(Professor of Urban Form and Society, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL)

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