Monday, August 31, 2015

Now This is Cool: Non-Profit Dedicated to Studying the Brain Through Writing

Oliver Sacks died just a couple of days ago: August 30, 2015. I miss him already. His writing--elegant, precise, and compassionate--inspires me not just to be a better writer, but to be a better human. He believed in the power of story to heal and to better understand the human mind.

While doing some research on his life, I found this: The Oliver Sacks Foundation. Then I got all excited when I read this:

The Oliver Sacks Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing understanding of the human brain and mind through the power of narrative nonfiction and case histories.
The foundation’s goals include making Dr. Sacks’s published and yet-unpublished writings available to the broadest possible audience, preserving and digitizing materials related to his life and work and making them available for scholarly use, working to reduce the stigma of mental and neurological illness, and supporting a humane approach to neurology and psychiatry. (emphasis mine)

Those of us who love to read already know the power of storytelling to make meaning from our lives and better understand our internal worlds. I've never bought into the dividing line between art and science, between what we think is quantifiable and what we think is not. Sacks clearly felt the same, using his tremendous writing talent to share the experiences of and humanize his patients and himself.

Narrative nonfiction, you guys! Let's get into it!

I remember you, Oliver Sacks, M.D. RIP.


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