Professor Michael Pollan

Tips for Existence
‘Once you’re studying the mind, you can’t measure it from outside’.

Professor Michael Pollan
Tips for Existence Episode 17
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Michael Pollan is an American author and journalist, currently serving as the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He was interested in plants and botany from an early age and has written a number of books and essays on the subject including The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education. In recent years his work has looked at psychedelics and their effects, both negative and positive on humans. His latest book is This Is Your Mind on Plants and explores this topic with special attention given to opium, caffeine, and mescaline.


Once the meaning of it all was simple, if at times also cruel and/or barbaric. The Universe was made by a god, sometimes omnipotent, sometimes fractious, sometimes both. Now, as we explore the Universe and start to explain ourselves, the Universe has started to lose it single meaning and we have to find individual meanings ourselves. This is Tips for Existence where Robin Ince talks to cosmologists, composers, astronauts and authors about what gives them meaning.
Clips included in the show: Clip from The Matrix, The Science of Psychedelics at The RI, The BBC’s The Private Life of Plants, Ego is Not a Dirty Word by The Skyhooks, The Nature of Consciousness with the Dalai Lama, John Stewart on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Seven Wonders of the World.

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