Photo by Jose Azel/Getty
Photo by Jose Azel/Getty

Survival at the edge

Find out what drives people to the depths and edges of the known world, and how they survive it, with psychologist Emma Barrett and drummer/composer Charles Hayward

Throughout history, adventurers and explorers have shown that, in the pursuit of their dreams, humans are capable of astonishing levels of resilience and ingenuity. What kinds of people thrive in hostile environments? What drives them to willingly endure intense challenges and privations, including extreme temperatures, dizzying heights, hunger and loneliness? Join us this evening to explore what we might learn from success and failure at the edge, to help us better cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Reading resources

Emma Barrett


Emma Barrett’s audiences often consist of Polar explorers, astronauts, cavers, long-distance sailors, mountaineers and fieldworkers, among others – and for good reason. Her fascination with the qualities and motivations of people who choose a life of adventure, and her co-authorship of Extreme: Why Some People Thrive at the Limits (2014) are a testament to her expert authority on the psychology of extreme environments. Emma’s work as professor of psychology, security and trust at the University of Manchester also encompasses her interests in the cutting-edge intersections between psychology and technology.

Emma is on Mastodon at and on Twitter at @takingrisksbook.

Charles Hayward


Photo by Sophie Le Roux

Charles Hayward is an English drummer, singer and composer whose unmistakable musical output arose from the UK’s creative underground in the 1970s. His career began playing with the Amazing Band, Quiet Sun and Gong, before he became a founding member of one of the most influential experimental rock groups to come from the UK, This Heat. In the late 1980s, he turned his focus to solo projects and collaborations, which he continues to this day. Charles’s idiosyncratic approach to his soundwork spans improvisation, song, sound as sound, and draws on the dichotomy of order and chaos as creative energies.

Charles can be found on Facebook.

Christian Jarrett


Christian Jarrett is editor of Psyche. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, his popular books on psychology and neuroscience have been translated into 14 languages. Christian can’t wait to think out loud with our guest speakers, to explore how psychology and philosophy can help us to make sense of our place in this world.

Event and ticketing details

Date and time

Thursday, 8 June, 2023

7:30pm ‘til late


Full price – £20

Student – £5


The Crypt, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JH

  • Doors open: 6:30pm
  • Performance starts: 7:30pm sharp
  • Food and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the evening from the bar. Please note: food service will halt during the performance, so we recommend arriving early and settling in with something delicious from the Crypt’s antipasto menu, before the show starts
  • Please note that seating is cabaret-style and unallocated. We warmly encourage you to share tables with fellow Sophia Club attendees
  • Access your ticket for the event by clicking View order or Download PDF at the bottom of your ticket email
  • St Martin-in-the-Fields is wheelchair accessible. For more information on accessibility at this venue, click here
Thursday, June 8, 2023
The Crypt, St Martin-in-the-Fields,
Trafalgar Square London WC2N 4JH

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The Sophia Club is a new venture from Aeon Media, the publisher of Aeon and Psyche magazines.

Aeon is based in Melbourne, Australia and we respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our Melbourne events take place, the Wurundjeri people of the Woiworung language group of the Kulin Nation.
We value the knowledge traditions and rich practice of philosophy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia, and all First Nations peoples around the world.