In Her Head

Unexpected Lessons Learned Writing A Book About The Female Brain


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Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre
Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, UniSA City West campus, 55 North Terrace, Adelaide MAP

In 2016 Dr Sarah McKay unexpectedly found herself writing a book about women's brain health.

Despite 25 years as a neuroscientist and 43 years owning and operating a female body and brain, she had given little consideration to how her neurobiology was sculpted by her life as a girl and woman, and indeed how her brain influenced her reproductive life and experiences.

Sarah’s book, The Women's Brain Book. The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness, takes the reader on a chronological journey across the lifespan to explore how women's minds and brains are shaped from the womb to tomb — including in utero life, infancy, puberty, adolescence, pregnancy, menopause and old age.

In this presentation, Sarah will review the academic literature and explain the conversations she had with researchers and women's health practitioners. She will also share the concepts and surprises she learned about health, hormones and happiness. 

Books sales and signing following the presentation.


Dr Sarah McKay is a neuroscientist and science communicator who specialises in translating brain science research into simple, actionable strategies for peak performance, creativity, health and wellbeing.

Sarah grew up in New Zealand where she completed BSc(Hons) at Otago University, then headed to Oxford University for her PhD. She sums up her thesis with the words, ‘Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity’. After five years postdoctoral research, Sarah hang up her lab coach to pursue a career in science communications.

Sarah is the author of The Women's Brain Book—The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness, and the director of The Neuroscience Academy, which offers professional development program in applied neuroscience and brain health. In 2019, Sarah hosted an episode of ABC Catalyst exploring brain health, bio-hacking and longevity.

More Information

Your Brain Health: website
Sydney Morning Herald: Dr Sarah McKay is making brainwaves with her online Neuroscience Academy
TEDx Talks: Indulge your neurobiology

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