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Conversations about Science Communication and Communicating Science


S10:E03, “Good Death” edition, with Caitlin Doughty (video)

Posted by jnshaumeyer on 10 November 2017

Streamed live on 9 November 2017.

Americans have an uneasy relationship with death and dying, but could benefit greatly from a more forthright approach. Different cultures have very different funerary customs, and the differences highlight the benefits that could come from changes in habits. Surprisingly many of our customs, which we think must be steeped in tradition, only arose in the early 20th century.

We discussed all those ideas as they are presented in author Caitlin Doughty’s new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. As happens, ours was a wide-ranging discussion that ranged from funeral pyres and the origins of embalming in America, to LED Buddhas and watermelons.

Mentioned in the video was an organization founded by Caitlin, the “Order of the Good Death”; for more, visit the website: Also of interest: Caitlin’s video series “Ask a Mortician”, on YouTube,

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