Author(s): Florence Williams
For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while walking over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. From forest paths in Korea to islands in Finland to eucalyptus groves in California, Florence Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health and creativity. Delving into new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and strengthen our relationships. As our lives shift indoors, these ideas-and the answers they yield-are more urgent than ever.
"A beautifully written, thoroughly enjoyable exposition of a major principle of human life now supported by evidence in biology, psychology, and medicine." -- Edward O. Wilson "... the author makes a compelling argument for time outdoors. She takes a refreshing approach, including 'forest bathing" (the Japanese custom of a sensory walk in the woods); ecotherapy in Scotland; and how nature can produce the same effects as mind-altering drugs. Thought-provoking and excellent." -- BBC Wildlife Magazine
Florence Williams is a journalist and contributing editor to Outside magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and National Geographic among others. Her first book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012 and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science and Technology. Williams lives in Washington, DC.