My friend Gabriel Finkelstein is an historian of science whose most recent book, Emil du Bois-Reymond: Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Germany, profiles a 19th-century German polymath who was extraordinarily prescient about science's potential and limits.
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake, whom I interviewed in my last post, wasn’t the only fascinating scientist I hung out with recently at Howthelightgetsin, an festival hosted by the Institute of Arts & Ideas.
For decades, I’ve been only dimly aware of Rupert Sheldrake as a renegade British biologist who argues that telepathy and other paranormal phenomena (sometimes lumped under the term psi) should be taken more seriously by the scientific establishment.
As readers of this blog know, since 2005 I’ve been teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. One of the best parts of being an academic is hanging out with cool (compared to me), young (compared to me), up-and-coming scholars, some of whom know far more about the history of science and [...]
Ayahuasca—a foul-tasting hallucinogenic tea that can induce violent nausea and terrifying visions—is becoming trendy. A recent article in the “Fashion & Style” section of The New York Times notes that many people—including celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Sting—have turned to ayahuasca as a “catalyst for inner growth.” Ayahuasca is fascinating, for many reasons.