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I wanted to take just a moment to give a brief shout-out to the always fantastic and thought-provoking Dr. Ginger Campbell and the Brain Science Podcast. I’ve found her monthly podcasts to be consistently informative and always intriguing — great accompaniment for a light cardio workout or puttering around the kitchen, too. The website offers very helpful and highly accurate transcripts of all shows. Although the show is always excellent, I suggest checking out two of my favorites: Episode #67, which features German neuro-philosopher Thomas Metzinger discussing his book The Ego Tunnel, and Episode #81, an interview of famed philosopher and cognitive theorist Patricia Churchland. I particularly appreciate Metzinger’s interview because he emphasizes the sea change that has taken place in the sciences regarding the study of consciousness over the last few years. When he first began to conduct serious research on issues pertaining to the emergence of consciousness in the human brain, Metzinger notes, he was informed that this was a “CLM” — a Career-Limiting Move. Philosophers and scientists who believed consciousness was a viable field of study were, in his words, deemed to be “flaky.” But of course, cognitive science has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade or so, and even fields in the humanities are starting to realize that the study of the brain, consciousness, identity, interpretation, and so forth, is not just a brief trend. I’ll leave it to you to browse the website and check out a few episodes and transcripts — do make sure to put Churchland’s interview on your list, as her discussion of current research on the relationship between cognitive science and human ethics is both timely and compelling.

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