Sue Blackmore is a psychologist and writer whose research on consciousness, memes, and the paranormal has been published in over sixty academic papers, as well as book chapters, reviews and popular articles. She regularly writes in The Guardian, and often appears on radio and television in the United States and the United Kingdom. She spent two decades early in her career investigating psychic phenomena, following an out-of-body experience she had as a student at Oxford. She is the author of a number of books, including Dying to Live (on near-death experiences), In Search of the Light, and Test Your Psychic Powers (with Adam Hart-Davis). The Meme Machine (1999) has been widely acclaimed, and translated into 13 other languages. Her highly praised textbook, Consciousness: An Introduction, and A Very Short Introduction to Consciousness are both published by Oxford University Press, as is her most recent Conversations on Consciousness.
In this far-ranging discussion with D.J. Grothe, Susan Blackmore talks about her research into the paranormal and near death experiences and why she left that field of study, memetics and religion as a meme, free will and the question of moral responsibility, consciousness and the illusory nature of the self, and Zen Buddhism and meditative practice, among other topics. She also explores why is it more important than ever for scientists to speak out about important issues of concern in the world today.