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Countercurrent: conversations with Professor Roger Kneebone

A podcast for people who like the unexpected. Join the surgeon and academic Professor Roger Kneebone in conversation with unorthodox people whose careers defy traditional boundaries and who swim against the tide. Technical support by Justin Margovan - with my thanks My personal website www.rogerkneebone.co.uk Many of the people in Countercurrent feature in my book Expert: Understanding the Path to Mastery (Penguin Viking, 2020) https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/313/313248/expert/9780241392058.html
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Countercurrent: conversations with Professor Roger Kneebone
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Jul 22, 2024

Dr Dan Dworkis is a board-certified emergency physician and Adjunct Professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He is Chief Medical Officer at the Mission Critical Team Institute. His book The Emergency Mind: Wiring Your Brain for Performance Under Pressure was published in 2021. In this conversation we explore what it means to deal with uncertainty in situations of crisis.

https://keck.usc.edu/faculty-search/daniel-dworkis/

Jul 8, 2024

Matt Bishop is a writer, journalist, novelist and communications expert with a lifelong passion for motor sport. In this podcast we explore his insights into the worlds of Formula One racing and journalism.

https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/author/mattbishop/

Jun 24, 2024

Dr Stephen Webster is a philosopher of science and developed the internationally renowned Masters in Science Communication at Imperial College London. He stepped down from directing the Science Communication Unit in 2023 and now leads the Good Science Project at Imperial. We discuss what ‘good science’ means and explore how sitting and thinking can be as important as laboratory benchwork.

https://profiles.imperial.ac.uk/stephen.webster

Jun 10, 2024

Geoff Grandfield is well known for his iconic book covers and illustrations, strongly influenced by film noir. His images, with their unconventional viewpoints and perspectives, convey a powerful sense of isolation, unease and disquiet. In addition to his work and his teaching, Geoff is exploring the legacies of primal separation in his doctoral studies.

https://geoffgrandfield.co.uk

May 27, 2024

Sheila Hayman is a documentary film maker who has been exploring the relationship between people and technology for over forty years. In this conversation we explore issues around sustainability, artificial intelligence and what it means to be human.

https://www.sheilahayman.com

May 13, 2024

Simon Clarke is a consultant paediatric and neonatal surgeon and a professional actor. In this conversation we explore the similarities and differences between these apparently unrelated areas of expert practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6JYOL-VAzo

Apr 29, 2024

John McMunn fell in love with opera and performing at the age of ten. He studied at Harvard University before moving to England to become a Choral Scholar at King’s College Cambridge, then studied at the Royal College of Music Opera School. Ill health forced him to change his career direction. Now he is  Chief Executive of the Academy of Ancient Music. We discuss our experiences of how serious illness has reshaped our careers.

Apr 15, 2024

Rob Sansom is an actor, Simulated Patient, house decorator and builder. In this conversation we explore how his work in these apparently unrelated worlds connects in unexpected ways.

Apr 1, 2024

Dame Siobhan (Sue) Davies has had a long career in contemporary dance. Initially at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Sue established Siobhan Davies Dance Company in 1988. Her studio - Siobhan Davies Studios - was designed by Sarah Wigglesworth within the shell of a Victorian school building in Southwark. Now Siobhan makes films, including ‘All This Can Happen’ (2012).

Mar 18, 2024

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter was Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge until his recent retirement. A gifted broadcaster and communicator, David became familiar to many through his media discussions around statistics and risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.

https://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~david/ 

Mar 4, 2024
After completing her training in plastic surgery and as a professional coach, Lilli Cooper has expanded her interests to address issues around performance, anxiety and wellness through coaching and specialised support. In this conversation we explore how she focuses on helping surgeons optimise their performance. 
 
Feb 19, 2024

Dr Richard Horton is the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet. In this conversation he describes the challenges and excitement of being at the helm of one of the world’s leading medical journals and his approach to controversy and political involvement. We also discuss his personal experience of advanced cancer and its impact on his thinking and approach.

Feb 5, 2024

Aris has been fascinated by the human body for as long as he can remember. Early on he discovered a special aptitude for treating ill and injured people through touch, broadening his skills during his degree studies as a sports therapist. In this conversation we discuss our different experiences of gaining and applying anatomical knowledge, and our approaches to working with patients and clients. 

https://www.aristherapy.co.uk/

 

 

Jan 22, 2024

Helen Anahita Wilson trained as a pianist and spent years performing contemporary compositions in the UK. She then became immersed in the complex rhythmical structures of Indian music. In 2019 she was about to travel to India at the start of her PhD when she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy during the Covid pandemic. She used these experiences to develop new musical forms, drawing on sonic expressions of biological processes in humans and plants. Her latest work linea naturalis is based on plants in the Chelsea Physic Garden.

https://www.helenanahitawilson.com

 

Jan 8, 2024

Robert Lindsey studied English Literature at Oxford University, where he completed PhD in Shakespeare studies and co-edited the Penguin edition of Christopher Marlowe’s plays. He then changed direction and trained as a barrister. Since then he has practised in the criminal courts. In this conversation we discuss Bob’s unconventional career path and explore some of the pressures facing the UK legal system.

Dec 25, 2023

Gareth Mitchell lectures in science communication at Imperial College London. For many years he presented the weekly technology programme Digital Planet on the BBC World Service. He also presents occasionally on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science. We explore parallels between Gareth’s work as a presenter and podcaster and my own experience as a clinician.

Dec 11, 2023

Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, has had a long career as a Conservative politician. He represented South Dorset in the House of Commons from 1979-1987. He was a junior defence minister for two years before being appointed to the House of Lords as Lord Cranborne after the 1992 general election. In the 1990s he was Leader of the House of Lords, from which he retired in 2017. His home is Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

This conversation was recorded in early November 2023, before David Cameron was appointed Foreign Secretary by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

Nov 27, 2023

Andrew Grundon is an artist who draws, paints and sculpts. He designs and paints traditional pub signs, makes marionettes and is writing and illustrating a novel. In this podcast we discuss the remarkable range of skills which he has gained over many decades and explore how he continues to defy conventional categories and push the boundaries of his work.

In November 2023 Andrew became Maker of the Year in the 2023 Heritage Crafts Awards.

https://signaturesignsuk.com

Nov 13, 2023

Dr Jonathon Tomlinson has been a full-time GP in East London since 2001. He is fascinated by the challenges subtleties of the clinical consultation. He writes about patient clinical advocacy and the social determinants of health and has an MA in Human Values and Contemporary Global Ethics. In this conversation we discuss the nature of general practice, including ideas around kindness and shame.

Oct 30, 2023

Abigail Bainbridge is a book conservator and Director of Bainbridge Conservation. She teaches on many degree programmes, including at West Dean College, Camberwell College of Art and City & Guilds of London Art School.  She sits on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Heritage Science Expert Working Group and is the editor of Conservation of Books, which was published in 2023.

https://www.bainbridgeconservation.com/aboutus

 

Oct 16, 2023

Allan Hamilton holds four professorships at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - in neurosurgery, radiation oncology, psychology and electrical engineering & computing. His book The Scalpel and the Soul, based on over two decades as a neurosurgeon, explores clinical practice from unconventional perspectives. He is an expert horse whisperer and senior medical consultant on the television show Grey’s Anatomy. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Hamilton

Oct 2, 2023

Dr Ishminder Mangat is a junior doctor based in Bristol. She is fascinated by exploring how clinical medicine and the arts can enrich and enlighten one another. Her own podcasts explore a range of topics, including the power of narrative in breast cancer, death and dying, and motherhood anxiety. Ishminder is the lead organiser and creator of Bodies, medical humanities which was launched in Bristol in June 2023

Sep 18, 2023

Desiree Botana Machado is a skilled prosector, preparing dissections of human cadavers for teaching medical students and surgeons. We discuss how her work combines extraordinary levels of craftsmanship and skill with deep anatomical knowledge and the ability to engage with learners across a wide range of knowledge and experience. 

Sep 4, 2023

Dr James Eastaway trained as a doctor while developing his career as a leading Baroque oboeist and working in experimental theatre. As a musician he plays in some of the UK and Europe’s leading ensembles, while as a doctor he is a GP in a South London training practice. We discuss the excitements and challenges of keeping these multiple strands in play at the same time. 

Aug 21, 2023

Joz Norris is an award-winning writer, actor and comedian. We explore Joz’s approach to his work in the world of comedy, and discuss how his absurdist approach has opened new directions. We examine parallels between our professional lives and discuss the transitions we have both experienced in our careers.

https://www.joznorris.co.uk

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