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CIRCA:

What is one of your sources of inspiration that may surprise people?

EMMA TALBOT:

I don’t know how surprising this is, but I’m really interested in Peter Fenwick’s work on near death experiences and research on the experience of dying.

Peter Fenwick (b. 1935) is an eminent neuropsychiatrist, academic and expert on disorders of the brain. His most compelling and provocative research has been into the end of life phenomena, including near-death experiences and deathbed visions of the dying person, as well as the experiences of hospice and palliative care workers and relatives of dying people. Dr. Fenwick believes that consciousness may be independent of the brain and so able to survive the death of the brain, a theory which has divided the scientific community. The ""problem with death"" is deeply rooted in our culture and the social organization of death rituals. Fenwick believes that with serious engagement and through further investigation of these phenomena, he can help change attitudes so that we in the West can face up to death, and embrace it as a significant and sacred part of life. We have become used to believing that we have to shield each other from the idea of death. Fear of death means we view it as something to be fought every step of the way.