Stuart L. Brown, MD | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

Stuart L. Brown, MD

Play Advocate

“For us to live in complex social groups, play lies at the core of creativity and innovation. Play prompts us to be continually, joyously, physically active, combating obesity and enhancing overall health and well-being. It can interrupt the damage done by chronic stress and even give the immune system a bounce.”  Stuart Brown, MD

Trained in general and internal medicine, psychiatry and clinical medicine, Stuart Brown first recognized the importance of play by discovering its absence in the life stories of murderers and felony drunken drivers.

Dr. Brown’s years of clinical practice affirmed the importance and need for healthy play throughout the human life cycle, and his later evaluation of highly creative individuals revealed the centrality of playfulness to their success and well-being. His recent years of independent scholarship and exploration of the evolution of human and animal play have helped to focus a central commitment bringing the promises and stories of play into general cultural consciousness and to the establishment of the Institute For Play. The mission of the Institute for Play (IFP) is to bring the unrealized knowledge, practices and benefits of play into public life .

Dr. Brown was the instigator and executive producer of the three-part PBS series, "The Promise of Play" as well as the author of PLAY: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. His experience as medical administrator, producer, and scientific consultant or creator to numerous other productions on Joseph Campbell, Cosmology, Animal Play, plus his scientific and popular writings have identified him as the foremost "practical champion of the knowledge of play."