Neil Denny in conversation with neuroscientist David Eagleman about time perception, synesthesia and many possible afterlives. The interview includes David reading one of the short stories from his new book.
David Eagleman is is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is best known for his work on time perception, synesthesia and neurolaw. He is also a fiction writer. David’s most recent book is Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives.
Adam Macqueen has been a hack at Private Eye magazine on and off for 14 years. He was assistant, deputy and finally acting editor of The Big Issue between 1999 and 2002. He’s on the editorial team of Popbitch.com, and was an associate producer on Adam Curtis’s BBC series All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. Adam is the author of various books including The King of Sunlight, and his latest is Private Eye: The First 50 Years.
First broadcast on 18th November 2011.
Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, writer and broadcaster, whose work includes the award-winning series The Cell (BBC4), The Gene Code (BBC4), Horizon: 'Playing God' (BBC2) as well as numerous programmes for BBC Radio 4 such as the recently launched Inside Science. Previously an editor at the science journal Nature, Adam often writes for the Guardian and has given numerous prestigious lectures, as well as appearing in the 'Uncaged Monkeys' tour. His first book is Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life.
Interview one first broadcast on 16th October 2009.
Interview two first broadcast on 12th July 2013.
Matthew Hutson has a degree in cognitive neuroscience from Brown University and a Masters in science writing from MIT. He's written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Discover, Scientific American Mind, Popular Mechanics, The Boston Globe, and Psychology Today, where he spent four years as an editor. Matthew is the author of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane.
First broadcast on 23rd November 2012.
Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster. He is a presenter of Analysis of BBC Radio 4, and a panellist on The Moral Maze. He has taught at universities in Britain, Europe, Australia and the USA, presented many TV documentaries and writes regularly for newspapers across the world including the New York Times , the Guardian, and the Australian. His books include Man, Beast and Zombie, Strange Fruit and From Fatwa to Jihad, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Orwell Prize. His latest book is The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics.
Interview one first broadcast on 5th December 2008.
Interview two (also with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein) first broadcast on 19th November 2014.
Ziyad Marar was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1966. He lived in the Middle East until the age of 10 before moving to London where he still lives. He has worked as Editorial Director at Sage Publications for the last decade. He holds a BSc in psychology (Exeter University), an MA in the philosophy and psychology of language, and did several years of post-graduate research in this field (London University). His recent book The Happiness Paradox reflects his interest in the way philosophy and psychology can contribute to a better understanding of modern identity. His forth-coming book, Deception, looks at our relationship with the truth, and asks whether it's possible (or even desirable) to live a truly honest life.
ZoeWilliams writes comment pieces, interviews and reviews. She is best known as a Guardian columnist, but her work has also appeared in the Spectator, NOW magazine, the New Statesman and the Evening Standard. She is the author of numerous books on parenting, and her latest book is Get it Together: Why We Deserve Better Politics.
Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. She has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and the Congo, and has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. She is the author of It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War
Gavin Francis is a GP, and the author of True North and Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins, which won the Scottish Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and Costa Prize. He also writes for Guardian, The Times, London Review of Books and Granta. His latest book is Adventures in Human Being.
Emma Jane Unsworth is a journalist and won the Betty Trask Award for her novel Hungry, the Stars and Everything, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Portico Prize. Her short story 'I Arrive First' was included in The Best British Short Stories 2012. Emma’s latest novel Animals has won a 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize.
After fifteen years writing strategy for advertising agencies, Alex Hourston took a break to go back to university and her first love, books. She completed a Masters in English and started a PhD, but put it aside when the idea for her debut novel In My House surfaced. She is currently working on her second novel, an exploration of infidelity and emotional inheritance.
This podcast also features Naomi Alderman discussing the work of Tim Parks
Nell Zink was born in 1964 in southern California and grew up in rural Virginia. She attended Stuart Hall School and the College of William and Mary, where she majored in philosophy.
Rather late in life she got a doctorate in Media Studies from the University of Tübingen, Germany. She works as a translator for Zeitenspiegel Reportagen and lives in Bad Belzig, south of Berlin. She is the author of the recently published novels The Wallcreeper and Mislaid.
Nick Lane is a biochemist in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London and leads the UCL Origins of Life Programme.
His first book, Oxygen, was one of the SundayTimes Books of the Year in 2002. Power, Sex, Suicide was named as a book of the year in The Economist in 2005 and was short-listed for The Aventis Science Book Prize.
Life Ascending won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. His latest book is The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is?
James Bridle is a writer, artist, publisher and technologist usually based in London, UK. His work covers the intersection of literature, culture and the network. He has written for WIRED, ICON, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic and many other publications, and writes a regular column for the Observer newspaper on publishing and technology. In 2011, he coined the term “New Aesthetic”, and his ongoing research around this subject has been featured and discussed worldwide. His work, such as the Iraq War Historiography, an encyclopaedia of Wikipedia Changelogs, has been exhibited at galleries in the Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, and has been commissioned by organisations such as Artangel, Mu Eindhoven, and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC.
Eleanor Saitta is a hacker, designer, artist and writer. She makes a living and a vocation of understanding how complex systems operate and redesigning them to work, or at least fail, better. Her work is transdisciplinary, using everything from electronics, software, and paint to social rules and words as media with which to explore and shape our interactions with the world. Her focuses include the seamless integration of technology into the lived experience, the humanity of objects and the built environment, and systemic resilience and conviviality. Eleanor is Principal Security Engineer at the Open Internet Tools Project (OpenITP), directing the OpenITP Peer Review Board for open source software and working on adversary modeling. She is also Technical Director at the International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), a member of the advisory boards at Geeks Without Bounds (GWoB) and the Calyx Institute, and works on occasion as a Senior Security Associate with Stach & Liu. She is a founder of the Constitutional Analysis Support Team (CAST), previously co-founded the Seattle-based Public N3rd Area hacker space, and works on the Trike and Briar projects.
Paul Wolinski and Joe Shrewsbury are one half of 65daysofstatic, an instrumental band from Sheffield, as comfortable crashing samplers to mine glitches as they are putting guitars through too much distortion. Influenced by a technologically dystopian present and an apocalyptically likely future, they tend to be found filling venues, galleries or headphones with different kinds of noise in their ongoing efforts to find the limits of what ‘being a band' can mean.
The Space Lady is a street-performing singer based in Colorado, USA. Originally beginning on the streets of Boston in the late 70s, she has recently begun playing again. Often seen performing in 1980's Boston, and then a decade later in San Francisco's Castro community – where she would play and sing for hours on end for the gay scene, and got her apt moniker – The Space Lady's winged helmet and setup of a Casio battery-powered keyboard, vocal mic and echo & phaser controls became a small but striking phenomenon. Her sound is a blend of synth-laden pop and proto-techno that evokes the iconic soundtrack artists and early electronic composers such as Suzanne Ciani. The Space Lady has been recognised alongside Daniel Johnston and Jandek on Irwin Chusid's seminal Outsider compilation Songs in the Key of Z, and her lo-fi synth minimalist interpretation of Peter Schilling's Major Tom featured on Erol Alkan's Bugged Out mix last year, as well as John Maus' 2011 Rough Trade set.
Zoe Pilger is an art critic for the Independent and won the 2011 Frieze International Writer's Prize. She is currently working on a PhD at Goldsmith's college. Eat My Heart Out is her first novel. Also this week, writer Frank Swain on Gattaca.
First broadcast on 22nd March 2014.
Joanna Biggs is a writer and editor at the London Review of Books, where she has reported on the student protest movement, the recession in Middlesbrough, Legal Aid cuts, censorship in China, and manufacturing. She is the author of All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work.
Stevan Alcock is a writer, linguist and translator. Born and brought up in Yorkshire, he lived in Berlin for several years before moving to London where he graduated with an Honours BA in German Language and Literature from Goldsmiths College. In 2013 Stevan was awarded an MA (Distinction) in Contemporary Prose Fiction by Kingston University. His debut novel is Blood Relatives.
Dylan Evans is an academic, philosopher and journalist. He has written several popular science books, was named by the Independent as one of the 20 best young writers in Britain, and was once described by The Times as “the sort of polymath who makes you wonder what you’ve been doing with your brain.” He currently lives in Guatemala. Dylan is the author of The Utopia Experiment.
Andrew Mueller is a Contributing Editor at Monocle, and broadcasts regularly on its radio arm, Monocle 24. He also writes for The Guardian, Uncut, New Humanist and Bluffers, among other titles, and has reported from more than 80 countries. He is previously the author of "Rock & Hard Places" and "I Wouldn't Start From Here", and was partially responsible - in cahoots with Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan - for the acclaimed 2012 musical historiography "The North Sea Scrolls". His country band, The Blazing Zoos, will release their second album in 2015. His latest book is a memoir, It’s Too Late to Die Young Now: Misadventures in Rock ‘N’ Roll.
A regular officer with the 11th Hussars, he left the Army to write.
He has published four novels, and numerous works of non-fiction. His books include The Spanish Civil War; Inside the British Army; Crete -- The Battle and the Resistance, which was awarded a Runciman Prize, and Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (which was written with his wife Artemis Cooper).
Stalingrad, first published in 1998, won the first Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1999. Berlin - The Downfall 1945, published in 2002, was accompanied by a BBC Timewatch programme on his research into the subject. D-Day - The Battle for Normandy, published in June 2009, has been a No 1 Bestseller in seven countries, including the UK and France, and in the top ten in another eight countries.
His last book, The Second World War, published in June 2012, was translated into twenty-one languages. His latest book is Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble.
Helen Scales is a marine biologist, freelance researcher and broadcaster. She appears regularly on BBC Radio 4, Sky News and the BBC World Service, and has presented documentaries on topics such as whether people will ever live underwater, the science of making and surfing waves and the intricacies of sharks' minds.
Her doctorate involved searching for giant endangered fish in Borneo; she's also tagged sharks in California, and once spent a year cataloguing all the marine life she could find surrounding a hundred islands in the Andaman Sea. She is the author of a book about seahorses, Poseidon’s Steed, and her latest book is Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells.
Alok Jha is a journalist and broadcaster based in London. He is science correspondent for ITN and, before that, was science correspondent at the Guardian.
He has presented science programmes for BBC2 and BBC Radio 4. Alok received a science-writing award from the American Institute of Physics in 2014, was named European Science Writer of the year in 2008, and has been shortlisted for feature writer of the year at the annual Association of British Science Writers awards.
He is the author of How to Live Forever and The Doomsday Handbook, and his latest is The Water Book.
John Higgs is the author of I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary, The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band Who Burned a Million Pounds, and the novel The Brandy of the Damned.
His latest book is Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century.
Michela Wrong is a distinguished international journalist, and has worked as a foreign correspondent covering events across the African continent for Reuters, the BBC and the Financial Times.
She writes regularly for Foreign Policy magazine and the Spectator. Her first book, In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz, based on her experiences in Africa her first book, won the PEN James Sterne Prize for non-fiction.
Her book I Didn’t Do It for You focuses on Eritrea, and It’s Our Turn to Eat tells the story of John Githongo, a Kenyan whistle-blower. Borderlines is her first novel.
The first of three episodes of Little Atoms in association with the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. This week Neil Denny talks with shortlisted authors Jim Al-Khalili & Johnjoe Mcfadden, and Jon Butterworth.
Professor Jim Al-Khalili, OBE is an academic, author and broadcaster. He is a leading theoretical physicist based at the University of Surrey, where he teaches and carries out research in quantum mechanics. He has written a number of popular science books, including Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, and has presented several television and radio documentaries, including the BAFTA-nominated Chemistry: A Volatile History and The Secret Life of Chaos.
Professor Johnjoe McFadden is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey and is the editor of leading text books on both molecular biology and systems biology of tuberculosis. For over a decade, he has specialised in examining tuberculosis and meningitis, inventing the first successful molecular test for the latter. He is the author of Quantum Evolution and co-editor of Human Nature: Fact and Fiction and writes for theGuardian on topics including GM crops, psychedelic drugs and quantum mechanics.
Together they are the authors of Life on the Edge: The Coming Age of Quantum Biology, which has been shortlisted for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
Jon Butterworth is a leading physicist on the Large Hadron Collider, and Head of Physics and Astronomy at UCL. He writes the popular Life & Physics blog for the Guardian and has written articles for a range of publications including the Guardian and New Scientist. He was awarded the Chadwick Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2013 for his pioneering work in high energy particle physics, especially in the understanding of hadronic jets. He’s the author is Smashing Physics: inside the World’s Biggest Experiment, which is on the shortlist for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her debut story collection, An Elegy for Easterly, won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009. Her debut novel is The Book of Memory.
Jon Savage is the author of England's Dreaming: Sex pistols and Punk Rock and Teenage: The Creation of Youth, 1875-1945. He is the writer of the award winning film documentaries The Brian Epstein Story (1998) and Joy Division (2007) as well as the feature film of Teenage (2014). His latest book is 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded.