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First Heart Transplant

Fifty years ago to the day Christiaan Barnard led the first successful(ish) heart transplant operation. I still think of this amazing achievement, here written up in the South African Medical Journal: the recipient Louis Washkansky; the donor Denise Darvall. And for those who have no idea who CB was, here are two obituaries: Telegraph and NYT. Christiaan BarnardDenise DarvallGroote Schuur Hospitalheart transplantLouis WashkanskyMedicinesciencesurgery

A systematic approach to cancer: evolution beyond selection

This recent open access paper in Clinical and Translational Medicine caught my attention primarily because it invokes the concept of stigmergy. It’s unusual, though not surprising, that the idea is now finding some currency in medicine. Eukaryotic cells have an entire panoply of communicative and cooperative mechanisms. Since the individual cellular participants can have independent goals in…

Why medicine is good training for writing fiction

What a conspicuous omission by not mentioning Percy in this article. Here is an extract from my forthcoming paper. With Percy’s medical training echoing in the deep background, he took the view that the novelist is a diagnostician, “a literary clinician” so to speak, identifying “the particular [cultural] lesion of the age.” Percy extends the…

Experts and Epistemic Monopolies

Having just received copies of the book in which our paper appears, here is another excuse to plug both our paper and the rest of the book’s contents. Here is an extract from Roger Koppl’s introduction: This volume contains papers given at the third biennial Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies Conference on…

Science, the Market and Iterative Knowledge

The second paper co-authored with Dave Hardwick has now been published in Studies in Emergent Order: Abstract: In a recent paper (Hardwick & Marsh, in press) we examine the recent tensions between the two broadly successful spontaneous orders, namely the Market and Science. We argued for an epistemic pluralism, the view that freedom and liberty…