From sugar pills to shock waves, drawing on centuries of research and interviews with leading experts in the field, Pulitzer Center-supported journalist Erik Vance explores the world of placebos, hypnosis and false memories to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds. On Thursday, January 12, 2017, Vance discusses his new book, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Vance is an award-winning science writer based in California and Mexico City. He graduated with honors from Principia College in Illinois in 1999 with a degree in biology. After working on a number of research projects dealing with dolphin intelligence and coastal ecology, he became – in turn – an environmental educator and then an environmental consultant.

But it wasn’t until enrolling in UC Santa Cruz’s science communication program that he discovered his true passion for journalism. There he learned that only through compelling characters can stories touch and inspire us. As such, he has molded his career around science-based profiles of inspiring, dedicated, or controversial figures in society. His work has appeared in a range of media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nature, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. He is currently under contract with Harper's and National Geographic.

Erik Vance and "Suggestible You"
Thursday, January 12, 2017
92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128


Marcus Sapere practices Reiki massage on a client in his office in Alameda, California. Reiki is based on the idea that sickness is caused by the changes in energy and that a therapist can manipulate that energy with his hands and mind. Image by Erika Larsen.
Inside our heads is an ancient power. A tool of miracle-workers, charlatans, witch doctors, hypnotists and physicians alike. It's a basic part of who we are. It's the hidden power of suggestibility.


Your limits are in your head. Image by Erin Wilson, courtesy of Outside.
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Erik Vance
Erik Vance explains the science behind the mind’s mending powers in his new book, "Suggestible You."