Archive by Author

Sharon Blackie on the path out of our modern wasteland

9 May
Sharon Blackie

Sharon Blackie ©Calyx Picture Agency

“The world is in crisis”, says Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted, and possessor of one of the calmest voices I’ve ever heard.

I’m here as an unofficial representative of the Patriarchy, which quickly becomes an uncomfortable place to be as Sharon opens with a lighthearted tale of the rape and subjugation of the well maidens of ancient Celtic myth.

They used the water from the wells they guarded to nourish the land, so the legend goes, and so the land nourished us in turn. But then menfolk were invented, and we ruined everything. Continue reading

Jo Marchant on “the beer goggles of medicine”

9 May
Jo Marchant

Dr. Jo Marchant. Photo ©Calyx Picture Agency

I can remember the exact moment I first became fascinated by the idea of the mind being able to cause physical changes in the body. I was eleven, and I’d just watched Michael Ironside use his brain to force a man’s head to explode in the movie Scanners. The following day I went in to school and squinted really hard at the teacher. He asked me if I needed new glasses.

Real life often finds a way to be both less exciting and more interesting than Hollywood fantasy and it turns out that our brains contain a hidden and little understood power after all.

Jo Marchant has a BSc in genetics, a PhD in microbiology, and a black belt in jiu jitsu. I have a Scottish ‘O’ Level in Biology. Fortunately the science ninja also possesses a storyteller’s knack for unfolding a narrative in way that makes it easy to follow. She’s written a book called Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body which is essentially an examination of the placebo effect and the scientific study of this phenomena. Continue reading