Tim Boon is a historian of the public culture of science. In his long career at the Science Museum he has explored many aspects of public history relating to health. In this conversation he traces his career’s evolution and we discuss his current large-scale project The Congruence Engine, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.
Callum Thorpe initially trained as a scientist, gaining a PhD in immunology from Imperial College London. He then trained as an opera singer and is now an internationally renowned soloist. In this conversation we explore the nature of performance in science and the performing arts.
AJ West’s career has been varied and at times controversial, and his interests are diverse. In addition to fifteen years as a television journalist and news presenter, he has participated in Big Brother and become a writer. His first novel The Spirit Engineer was published in 2021 and won the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award.
Ann Martin-Davis is an award-winning pianist who performs as a soloist and chamber musician all over the world. In addition to her performing and recording career she is passionate about teaching. We explore parallels between our experiences of teaching, coaching and other dimensions of our professional careers.
Robert Peake is Senior Associate at Next Action Associates. He studied at UC Berkeley in California, where he gained a degree in English Literature and taught programming languages. His interests and talents cross many boundaries, and during the Covid pandemic he made a ukelele.
Robert Kirby trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College. With support from The Prince’s Trust he established People People, a company which brings techniques from the theatre into other areas of professional practice. We discuss our experiences of changing career direction and discover unexpected parallels.
Dr Paul Haidet’s work crosses multiple boundaries. As Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Humanities at Penn State University, he is fascinated by crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries. His lifelong passion for jazz has a profound influence on his clinical practice. In this conversation we explore unexpected parallels and similarities between our own professional experiences.
Dr Sam Guglani and I explore how his work as an oncologist is interwoven with his lifelong fascination with writing and the arts. Sam describes how he established Medicine Unboxed more than a decade ago, how it has developed in surprising directions and how it will take place again in May 2023
Ana Silvera’s work defies orthodox categories, spanning folk, jazz, pop, classical and many other traditions. In addition to her recordings she works in ballet and theatre and collaborates widely. She is also an interpreter of Ladino song.
Ash Ranpura’s career has moved between experimental neuroscience, internal medicine, clinical neurology and hospital redesign. In this conversation we compare our experiences of moving between fields and across interdisciplinary boundaries and explore how our experience of clinical practice has shaped our beliefs.
As Principal Curator of Crustacea and Cnideria at the Natural History Museum, Miranda Lowe is responsible for the museum’s vast collection of marine invertebrates, dating back over two hundred years. In addition to her own research she is passionate about inspiring and mentoring young people and increasing diversity. She has also written about the museum’s collection of 182 glass sea creatures made by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka in the late nineteenth century.
Ian Skelly is a well-known music presenter on BBC Radio 3. A familiar voice at the BBC Proms, Ian has a wide range of interests including photography, film making and writing. In this conversation we discuss his approach to radio broadcasting and explore how the art of telling stories lies at the heart of his work. Along the way we examine how his ideas around improvisation and performing resonate with my experience in the world of clinical medicine.
Harry Collins is Distinguished Research Professor at Cardiff University. For over forty years he has been writing on the sociology of gravitational wave physics. A prolific author, his ideas around interactional expertise have been both influential and controversial. In this conversation we explore some of the implications of his work.
Vis specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, an eye disease where pressure on the optic nerve leads to impaired sight. As a surgeon he performs operations of the utmost delicacy and precision; as a teacher he passes on his wisdom to less experienced surgeons; as a statistical geneticist he researches the scientific basis of eye disease. In this conversation we explore the interplay of these many perspectives across his career.
Peter Randall-Page is internationally known for his carvings in stone, often at massive scale and in public places. He is fascinated by connections between ideas, metaphors and the natural world. Much of his work is inspired by nature and underpinned by mathematics.
His current exhibition at the Pangolin Gallery in London runs from 16 November 2022 until 14 January 2023
Mr Simon Blackburn’s clinical work varies from operating on premature babies with congenital abnormalities to treating adolescents with surgical problems. We discuss how he combines technical precision in the operating theatre, communication with children, their parents and others who provide care, and supporting clinical colleagues in his educational leadership roles.
Monica Lalanda spent much of her career as an emergency doctor. She has always had a passion for drawing and developed a parallel career as a graphic artist, developing the concept of ‘graphic pathographies’ to help patients and their carers express their responses to illness. She has explored graphic medicine in a number of areas, including medical ethics and graphic recording of conference presentations. In this conversation we explore how our different experiences of medicine and healthcare intersect.
Iain Burnside studied at Oxford University, the Royal Academy of Music and the Chopin Academy in Warsaw. As a freelance pianist, he specialises in song repertoire and has collaborated in performances and recordings with many of the world’s leading singers. In his recently formed Trio Balthasar, he performs a wide range of repertoire with violinist Michael Foyle and cellist Timothy Hugh. Iain is also a writer and broadcaster, and for many years presented BBC Radio 3’s Voices, for which he won a Sony Radio Award. He is Artistic Director of the Ludlow English Song Weekend.
Hansjorg Schmidt heads the MA Light in Performance programme at Rose Bruford College in London. In this conversation he explains how he uses light when designing theatrical productions, and we explore ideas about the role of light in professional settings.
Austin O’Carroll spends much of his time working with homeless and marginalised people in Dublin, where he founded Safetynet (an organisation designed to address inequalities and improve healthcare for homeless people). His PhD, based on ethnographic research, examines the experiences of marginalised groups. He is active in disability politics and sails with the Irish Paralympic Sailing Team.
As a professional keynote speaker, James Taylor is a skilled performer who works with audiences across the world. His Supercreativity podcast features over 350 conversations with leaders the field. In this conversation we explore similarities and differences between podcast conversations, formal keynote presentations and clinical encounters. We both identify trustworthiness as a key aspect of our work.
Tim Weekes has wide experience in the world of pre-hospital care. Trained as an Emergency Medical Technician and solo responder, his degree course as a paramedic has led to his many roles as a care provider, teacher and coach.
Jeff Bezemer and I discuss our collaboration aimed at making sense of the operating theatre as a pedagogic space. Jeff’s background in applied linguistics and ethnomethodology gives him completely different perspectives from mine as a surgeon. In this podcast we explore points of intersection between our different ways of looking at professional contexts.
The moral philosopher Onora O’Neill (Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve) has a longstanding fascination with trustworthiness. She has explored these ideas extensively, through writing and broadcasting (including her 2002 BBC Reith Lectures). Her 2022 book A Philosopher Looks at Digital Communication examines the impact of contemporary forms of communication, including social media. In this conversation we examine issues around trustworthiness within the medical realm and beyond.
As a postdoctoral synthetic chemist, Luke Delmas is fascinated by the challenges of conducting experimental work and teaching students the skills of the laboratory. He is a core member of the Chemical Kitchen project at Imperial, where undergraduate students gain laboratory skills by mastering culinary tasks.