Peter C Brown (1)

2017 OATYC Conference – Keynote Speaker

Peter C. Brown

Peter C. Brown is a best-selling writer and novelist living in St. Paul, Minnesota, who retired at age 50 from a career as a planning and marketing communications consultant to corporations.

Brown is lead author of Make it Stick, the Science of Successful Learning (Harvard University Press, 2014), which he wrote with two cognitive scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, Henry L. Roediger and Mark A. McDaniel.

Make it Stick has been internationally acclaimed for changing the way we understand learning.

  • James Lang, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, called it “the single best work I have encountered on recent findings about the human brain and how we learn.”
  • The education writer Annie Murphy Paul said, “If I could, I would assign all professors charged with teaching undergraduates one book: Make It Stick. Every educator—and parent, and student, and professional—ought to have it on their own personal syllabus.”
  • Hazel Christie, in [London] Times Higher Education, wrote, “This is a rich and resonant book and a pleasurable read that will leave you pondering the processes through which you acquire new knowledge and skills.”


Brown and his wife, Ellen, have a home in a small Minnesota river town, named for the Dakota Indian chief Wapasha, where they paddle at dusk through the vast backwaters of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge. It was there in Wabasha, through a series of conversations between Brown and his brother-in-law Henry Roediger, that the idea for Make it Stick was hatched.