An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt already heard. After some observations and rough calculations the engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing. A few minutes later the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily as he now has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper. This leaves the mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of humour from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.
A new podcast from the University of Bath. This time it’s Professor Allan Kellehear from the Centre for Death & Society at the University of Bath talking about the point of death and organ retention in a lecture called The science of death. From the blurb:
The research literature about ‘brain death’ is characterised by biomedical, bioethical and legal writing. This has led to overlooking wider but no less pertinent social, historical and cultural understandings about death. By ignoring the work of other social and clinical colleagues in the study of dying, the literature on the determination of death has become unnecessarily abstract and socially disconnected from parallel concerns about death and dying. These circumstances foster incomplete suggestions and narrow discussions about the nature of death as well as an ongoing misunderstanding of general public and health care staff responses to brain death criteria. I outline these problems through a review of the key literature on the determination of death.