Will Liddell studied zoology at university before working on cotton pests in South America. He then changed direction, studied medicine, and eventually became a general practitioner. In this conversation we discuss how his many interests, including Neuro-Linguistic Programming, have fed into his clinical work over the years. Will also owns a farm and has an enduring commitment to environmental science and sustainability. We explore the idea of healing as something that applies both to people and the natural world.
Erma Hermans combines academic knowledge with practical skill. Trained as a painting conservator and holding a doctorate in art history, Erma is also an art teacher and has a wide knowledge of fine and decorative arts. In this conversation we discuss what it means to become an ‘expert generalist’, exploring parallels between her world and my experience as a clinician. Erma is fascinated by the ‘material biography’ of each object she works with, interpreting its construction and history in the context of our contemporary lives.
David Roach started his career by training to become a professional footballer. Injuries compelled him to change direction and he became a personal trainer and sports coach, working with clients at every level of fitness. David’s passion is climbing, which he sees as a kind of three dimensional chess - combining strength, agility, problem-solving and a meditative focus on the moment.
Tabitha Tuckett’s career has moved across poetry, Classics and Renaissance literature. She has been an editor at the Oxford English Dictionary. As a musician she specialises in baroque cello and has performed and taught extensively. In this podcast we explore what it means to cross disciplinary boundaries and discuss ideas around identity and change.
Darren McHugh started his career as an actor and playwright before changing direction and joining the world of fine dining. He has been at The Ledbury for seven years, where his responsibilities extend from front of house dining to the financial and organisational sides of the restaurant. He sees developing his team as central to his role and he believes that ‘authentic interestedness’ is a key quality of expert service.
Averil Mansfield’s career was in vascular surgery. A consultant surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital in London, in 1993 she became the first female professor of surgery in the United Kingdom. In addition to her clinical practice, teaching and research, she has been a role model for women in surgery, establishing Women in Surgical Training (WIST). An accomplished pianist, in her retirement she has also taken up the cello. In this podcast we explore the challenges and satisfactions of her career.
A pianist by training, George Waddell’s many interests include the evaluation of performance and the role of technologies in music education. Brought up in rural Manitoba (where his parents are both vets), he studied piano in Brandon before moving to London for his PhD in performance science at the Royal College of Music. He researches and teaches performance across domains of expert practice.
Professor Sara Rankin is a leading scientist in the field of stem cell and leukocyte research. Throughout her career she has crossed disciplinary boundaries, working with experts across medicine, science and the arts. She only recognised her own dyslexia and dyspraxia in mid-career. In our conversation we explore the drawbacks and benefits of neurodiversity alongside our shared interest in public engagement and story-telling.
In this podcast we discuss Merlin’s work as an medical illustrator, exploring her fascination with narrative and the need to make sense of people’s stories. Merlin’s unorthodox career has moved from studying English and History at university to developing a widening array of skills around illustration, including drawing, painting, wax modelling and using digital technology.
After training as a professional flautist in Canada, Terry Clark changed direction and entered the field of performance science. His doctorate exploring the role of mental skills in addressing issues around musical and sports performance laid the foundations for his current research in the evolving field of performance science.
Nicholas Cooper is well known for his books The Opulent eye: Late Victorian and Edwardian Taste in Interior Design and Houses of the Gentry 1480-1680 and for his extensive practical and theoretical knowledge of architecture and history. In this conversation we explore unexpected parallels between architectural history and medicine.
Joshua Byrne designs and creates men’s jackets and suits. Starting from scratch with each garment he makes Joshua begins by identifying the needs of his customer. Each garment takes shape through a series of fittings, each depending on knowledge, skill and the Joshua’s ability to improvise. This has illuminating parallels with the world of medicine. In this podcast we explore how Joshua’s experience and mine shine light on one another’s practices.
Stephen Birkill’s career began as an engineer in the BBC transmissions section. In the following decades he made numerous technical advances in his field. He discovered a talent for solving practical problems in unorthodox ways and was instrumental in the development of tuning systems for satellite television, set-top boxes and digital radio. In parallel with his engineering career he has a longstanding fascination with the songs of Pete Atkin and Clive James and was responsible for the revival of Atkin’s music in the 1990s.
In this podcast we discuss Anthony’s work as a socially engaged artist who works extensively with people who have experienced homelessness. Through his work with assisted self-portraits he creates shared experiences with people in diverse communities. In this conversation we explore similarities and differences between our professional experiences.
Emma Kirkby is a distinguished soprano, well known for her pioneering performances and recordings of Renaissance and Baroque music. In this conversation we explore perspectives around music and silence, and how early music performances are a conversation between voices, instruments, audiences and space
Fulceri Bruni Roccia’s career and interests cross many disciplinary boundaries. From his long experience in the world of banking he became Visiting Professor on Global Political Economy at the University of Bologna. In this podcast we discuss the the opportunities and challenges of changing direction and becoming an expert generalist connector.
Paul Smith has been singing since he was a child. In 2005 he co-founded VOCES8, now one of the worlds leading vocal ensembles, with his brother Barnaby. He is passionate about music education and the importance of music at all stages of life. We explore how VOCES8 combine vocal precision with intensive listening and discuss parallels with the world of medicine.
Lewis Macleod is one the UK’s leading voice actors. Well known for his wide-ranging roles, from Start Wars to Postman Pat, Lewis is a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers, where his Donald Trump is a particular favourite. In this conversation we explore the range and diversity of Lewis’s interests and discuss how his use of voice and silence in satire and film resonates with the world of medicine.
Alison Joseph is the author of the Sister Agnes series of crime novels featuring a detective nun. In this podcast we discuss how Alison’s background as a philosopher, a documentary film maker and a writer of radio plays has shaped her career as a successful novelist. We explore her fascination with particle physics and discuss how conversations with experts from diverse fields can bring unexpected insights.
Simon Callaghan is an international concert pianist who performs and records all over the world. In this conversation we discuss the nature of performance, the role of memorisation and the ability to improvise in response to different contexts.
Theresa Hickey is a leading theatrical agent with a large stable of actors. In this podcast we discuss the relationship of care between agent and actor, exploring similarities with the clinical context before turning to the stresses and pressures of working in a rapidly changing world.
Dimitri Bellos has been Restaurant Manager at The Fat Duck for over five years. In this podcast he describes his philosophy of service in this 3 Michelin starred restaurant where waiters are ‘storytellers’ in a culinary narrative based on Heston Blumenthal’s childhood experiences. We discuss parallels between fine dining and clinical care, exploring Dimitri’s ideas around attentiveness and presence as the foundations of an outstanding experience for diners.
Ben Marks trained as a conservator and restorer of historical pianos, working with Lucy Coad in the West Country. Now he is responsible for seventeen early keyboard instrument, the oldest of which is over 450 years old. We discuss Ben’s relationship of care with fragile and irreplaceable instruments which nevertheless need to be played and explore how his experience resonates with mine in the world of medicine.
When John Acland retired he was managing director of Williamson’s Diamond Mine Ltd in Tanzania, having turned it from being a failed mine into a highly profitable organisation. After cutting his teeth as a miner in northern Canada he trained at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall before a career that took him from South Africa and Botswana to Angola, Namibia and Tanzania before changing direction and becoming an olive farmer in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Petur is Head of Classical Guitar at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. He studied classical guitar in Mexico and Spain. He is a performer of contemporary music as well as more traditional repertoire. He has an interest in music technology, plays in a rock band and is currently studying for a PhD at the Royal College of Music. He divides his time between London and Reykjavik.