Laugh - I almost died!

Published: 27 March 2006

Caf? Scientifique moves to the Tron to explore the physical, emotional and psychological effects of laughter

On 3 April 2006 the popular science debating forum Caf← Scientifique will host its first session in its new permanent venue, The Tron Theatre. To celebrate the move, University of Glasgow Professor of Pulmonary Pharmacology, Mandy Maclean has organised a special seminar exploring the science of laughter.

We laugh when we're happy, nervous, scared or relieved; it's contagious yet it can also promote healing. So what is laughter? And why do humans do it?

Chartered psychologist Alex Gardner and comedian Bruce Fummey will lead discussions on the concepts behind laughter through Bruce's infamous comedy show 'The Greek, the Apple and the Time Machine' and Alex's scientific explorations of this universal primitive response. Alex will encourage discussion on the use of laughter in therapy, the idea of laughter being used to 'clear the constipation of the soul!'

Event co-organiser Mandy Maclean explains the motivation behind the Cafes: 'The whole ethos of the monthly cafes is to bring cutting-edge science and scientists closer to the public. And what better way to kick off our new venue than the science of laughter - after all, Caf← Scientifique is serious fun! Anyone is welcome to come along have a drink, perhaps something to eat but above all have a great evening's entertainment in some of the most stimulating company you'll find in Scotland!'

Alex Gardner is a chartered psychologist with an interest in laughter workshops. He is the former consultant to the United Kingdom Paruresis Association (Shy Bladder syndrome) where laughter is used in healing workshops. Alex is also a regular broadcaster on TV and radio and has written for the press on psychological and relationship issues.

Caf← Scientifique is a free, monthly event for members of the general public curious about their world. For more information on the Caf← Scientifique events ヨ now held on the first Monday every month - please visit the website:

Alternatively you can contact co-organisers Mandy Maclean and Vanessa Collingridge on the following details:
Professor Mandy Maclean via
Vanessa Collingridge via

Kate Richardson (

For all press enquiries please phone the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3683 or email

First published: 27 March 2006

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