The Scottish Launch

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25 June 2011. The first blog. And what else would one blog about in a first blog, except the celebratory fact that there IS a first blog!? We launch today, with an audience nearing 200, in the main cinema at Dundee Contemporary Arts. It is exciting and sobering to realise that we have finally reached this day, which is landmark in so many ways.

The degree to which babies are attuned to the movements and rhythms of other people is remarkable. Psychology has been helping us to realise this for at least 40 years. Neuroscience is now demonstrating that the relationships babies form with others mould pathways in their brains and bodies.

This knowledge lies at the centre of the journey on which we embark today. Everywhere, organisations and individuals have become interested in this knowledge, and I am keen to talk with as many people as possible about it. There is an Early Years Movement under way, and I want to be an active part of it.

I hope that the film we premiere at today’s event, The Connected Baby, will be one of the many ways that we can do that. My co-producer, Jonathan Robertson, pointed out that it has been exactly three years, to the day — 26 June 2008 — since we first downloaded the application from the British Psychological Society for the funding of this project. We never dreamed it would take this long to complete (nor did they!) or that the process of making it would contribute to the establishment of a whole new enterprise.

So we thank the BPS for their patience and their faith, because here we are, stepping through this door into a new chapter of life.

Let me end this first blog and begin that new chapter by thanking the many many people who have helped me to get to this threshold, including my colleagues, my students, my friends and family, my production team, the families who took part in the film, the individuals who have attended previous speaking events and sent warm feedback, all those attending today’s Scottish Launch in person or in spirit, and every single person who has encouraged me to take this step;

Here’s to a future of stepping in rhythm with all those other feet marching in this Movement. Or, to quote Sylvia Plath, who put it more eruditely, in her poem entitled (of all things!) ‘Mushrooms’.

So many of us! So many of us! Nudgers and shovers in spite of ourselves. Our kind multiplies: We shall by morning inherit the earth. Our foot’s in the door.

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