Expert Profile

Stuart L. Brown
National Institute for Play

Stuart L. Brown is President of the National Institute for Play. Trained in general and internal medicine, psychiatry and clinical research, and an inveterate player himself, he had his first professional glimpses of the magic and mystery of play while a medical student, as its unexpected presence heralded a return to health in very sick children. But a fuller sense of its centrality to human well-being came to Brown later as a professor at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine, when he recognized the importance of play by discovering its stark absence in the life story of a mass murderer known as the Texas Tower sniper. Dr. Brown’s 25 years of research, academic and clinical practice affirmed the profound narrowing of life in the play deprived, and demonstrated the need for and positive by-products of healthy play for all.

His more recent years of independent play scholarship, documentary film production, and exploration of the evolution and neurobiology of human and animal play have helped to increase his appreciation of the patterns and transformative power of play. This has led to corporate and formal institutional affiliations. Through the support of a diverse Board of Directors, and via recruitment and appointment of a highly distinguished Council of Scientific Advisors to the Institute, he has been able to convene symposia, the result of which is to guide the Institute to undertake both basic and applied play programs (such as evaluating the need for rough and tumble play, recess, and early physical play action as an anti-obesity strategy).

Dr. Brown received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine. His post-doctoral training was at the Mayo Clinic, Baylor and Harvard.

Stuart L. Brown's discussions:

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William W. Bradley Allen & Company LLC
Stuart Taylor National Journal
Geoff Mulgan Young Foundation
David Abshire Center for the Study of the Presidency
Arnold Relman Harvard Medical School
Common Good

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  • Risk and Legal Fear in Schools
    With Lenore Skenazy, Frederick Hess, Megan Rosker, Walter Olson, and Nancy McDermott. Start date: June 5