May 30, 2021

The Quest to Transplant a Soul w/ Dr Brandy Schillace


In this episode we deep dive into a bizarre story in medical history. A Dr obsessed with being able to transplant human heads to prove that he could save the immortal soul. It's a wickedly macabre, bizarrely funny story that touches upon some deeply important questions. What is death? And, more importantly, should we make sure our sciences spend less time asking whether they can do something and more time asking whether they should?
Our guest for this episode is the amazing Dr. Brandy Schillacewho has just published the brilliant 'Dr Humble and Mr Butcher' which follows the decades long quest of Dr. White to transplant a human head. The story involves 2 popes, a trip to Russia and a Nobel prize nomination.  It's an incredible gripping story which I highly recommend you pick up and read for yourself.

Our expert guest: 
Dr. Brandy Schillace is a historian of medicine and the critically acclaimed author of DEATH’S SUMMER COAT, CLOCKWORK FUTURES,  and most recently MR. HUMBLE AND DR. BUTCHER, described by the New York Times as a “macabre delight.” Her books have been reviewed in Science Magazine, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, New Yorker, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and more. Dr. Schillace is host of the Peculiar Book Club, a livestream community of authors and readers, and has appeared on Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum,  NPR’s Here and Now, and FOX’s American Built. She has bylines at Scientific American, Globe and Mail, HuffPo, SLATE, and Crime Reads. (she/her)

Dr. Schillace is a 2018 winner of the Arthur P. Sloan Science Foundation award, and in addition to her work as an author, is editor-in-chief of BMJ’s Medical Humanities Journal.