Jan 13, 2022 • 33M

Dr Jesse Bering on the afterlife

Back again next week for Part 2

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Daniel Ross
Interviews with the experts, entertainers and academics in the weird, wonderful and creative world of behavioural science.
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Welcome to the second Load of BS podcast of 2022. For those of you overwhelmed by the load of BS consuming British politics at the moment, turn the news off, crack open some supermarket rosé, unpeel the sausage rolls and get stuck in and enjoy this half hour event. Please stay to the end and I make no apology for that invitation.

By the way, if you want to put questions forward to any of my guests, you're very welcome. Email me at danielsjross@gmail.com or send me a tweet @danielsjross and I’ll credit you on the show.

Upcoming guests are advertising legend Dave Trott, football writer Guillem Balague, mindfulness writer Ruby Wax and former comedian and Head of BS at JP Morgan Jeff Kreisler.

Last week you may remember we addressed conspiracy theories with David Aaronovitch. Today's subject is no less spicy and polarising. We're talking the afterlife with Dr Jesse Bering - experimental psychologist and a leading scholar in the cognitive science of religion. Jesse is also an essayist and science writer specializing in evolution and human behaviour. To which end, he has become an expert in evolutionary taboos and that is the subject of our conversations of which today is part 1 of 2.

Jesse is a prolific writer. His first book, The Belief Instinct, was included in the American Library Association’s Top 25 Books of the Year and voted one of the “11 Best Psychology Books of 2011” by The Atlantic. This was followed by a collection of his Webby-award nominated essays, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?, and Perv, a taboo-breaking work that received widespread critical acclaim and was named as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. His most recent book was A Very Human Ending, all about suicide and his current work in progress is Dead Minds about the science of the afterlife which is the subject of today's conversation.

As I hope is the case with many of my BS chinwags, this one is personal, poignant and dazzlingly mind opening (if that's the right turn of phrase, I ask you all afterlife aficionados out there).

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Next time

I hope you can come back next week (that's a temporal shift you can 100% rely on) when we'll be diving into a range of other taboos such as suicide, sexuality and fetishes. You don't want to miss the story of the climacophiliacs who get aroused from tumbling down staircases.

Enjoy, learn and... Well, what else could you possibly do. Leave me a 5 star review on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen. Share this with a friend, share it on Twitter. All these things apparently guarantee reincarnation according to Mark Zuckerberg.

And if you haven’t signed up yet for all my writings on Monday BS and the pod archives, now is the time to do that right here, right now:

Be well and see you next time!