Health & Medicine

Remembering (and Forgetting) Epidemics

Kevin Siena— Every year my undergraduates are surprised to learn that 50-100 million people died a century ago during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918–20. We can probably thank the stunning success of twentieth-century biomedicine for this particular episode of historical amnesia. Generations of North Americans raised in relative security

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What Happened to Mescaline?

Mike Jay— In the current psychedelic renaissance, the original psychedelic is conspicuous by its absence. Amid all the buzz around LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ketamine and MDMA, and their potential for psychotherapy and mental well-being, mescaline rarely rates a mention. Yet the term ‘psychedelic’ was coined, in 1954, in response to

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Political Tribalism: The Art of Divide and Rule

Michelle Baddeley— How did Donald Trump manage to become president? If we look to psychology for an explanation, we can understand Trump as the populist leader of a modern-day tribe of voters. These voters define themselves according to a specific set of attitudes. On social media, they have a level

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Embracing Neurodiversity

Jason Tougaw— The concept of neurodiversity—the idea that every brain is a little different, some more than others—could transform neuroscience education and public perceptions about the brain. The concept is socially and politically valuable. And it’s intellectually honest. In his book Neuro-Tribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of

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We Are Not Our Parents’ Parent

Jody Gastfriend— I often refer to my 89-year-old mother as the Energizer Bunny.  She’s always on the go and is good at recharging her reservoir of energy. While her walking is limited, my mom still drives and enjoys running errands. On a recent trip to the supermarket, my mother encountered

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Ep. 62 – Caring for Aging Parents

A practical guide to caring for your aging parents and loved ones. Jody Gastfriend, author of My Parent’s Keeper: The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork, and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving and Michael Hoak discuss the challenges and gifts of caregiving.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud

Why Do We Sleep?

Meir Kryger— It is 3 a.m. You awaken sweating, your heart pounding. Your mind is racing, reminding you that you have to get up early to drop the kids off at daycare, then dash to work for an important meeting. Obsessed with your personal and work issues, you eventually fall

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Meditation and Photography

Stephen Batchelor— Taking photographs and practicing meditation might seem at first glance to be unrelated activities. For while photography looks outward at the visual world through the medium of a camera, meditation focuses inward on unmediated experience. And whereas photography is concerned with producing images of reality, meditation is about

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Whither the Zika Epidemic?

Leslie Anthony— It’s fall, and many of us are travelling south—Mexico, the Caribbean, Nicaragua. That’s not unusual. But what might be odd is that most of us have stopped talking about Zika, an emergent disease vectored by invasive mosquitos that persists in these areas, and over which we should still

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Ep. 38 – Inside the Human Organ Trade

Big ticket items like kidneys, livers, and hearts aren’t the only things that can be extracted from you after death. A look inside the cadaver trade and its shadowy history.