Aug 26th at 7pm: Cool Off with Sam Kean and the Ice Pick Surgeon!

Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science!

Do you know what a leucotome is? It looks a *lot* like an ice pick, and was used for…well. Scrambling a bit of brain, to be frank. Science is a force for good in the world—at least usually. But sometimes, when obsession gets the better of scientists, they twist a noble pursuit into something sinister. Under this spell, knowledge isn’t everything, it’s the only thing—no matter the cost. Bestselling author Sam Kean tells the true story of what happens when unfettered ambition pushes otherwise rational men and women to cross the line in the name of science, trampling ethical boundaries and often committing crimes in the process!

Want to know about: Cleopatra’s dark deeds in ancient Egypt? Thomas Edison’s mercenary support of the electric chair? The horrific roots of scientific experiment include slavery and injustice as well as the bizarre and peculiar–and Sam Kean doesn’t flinch from any of it. Kean even takes us into the future, when advanced computers and genetic engineering could unleash whole new ways to do one another wrong!

As usual, you will have the chance to win signed copies–and the first 100 will be entered to win a signed hardback and swag, and during the show, you can have a shot at our ever-popular ‘secret’ prize!

Livestream on Aud 26th, Thursday at 7 PM EDT. Donations requested for tickets to support books and authors that even a mad scientist would be proud of!

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold history of science’s darkest secrets

Find Sam Kean: @sam_kean on twitter


Discussion Questions:

  • Science strongly prefer to police themselves. Do you think the cases in the book show that scientists are incapable of doing so? Or are these rare exceptions?
  • As mentioned in the section on Nazi medicine, some doctors today believe that we should use the data from admittedly tainted experiments in certain cases, in order to save modern lives. Do you buy that argument? Or should we ignore all Nazi research?
  • What current or near-future technologies seem most ripe for abuse?
  • Science education traditionally includes very little about ethics or history. Do you think adding those components to a scientific education would make for better scientists? Or would that waste their time, when they should be focused more on technical details?

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Aug 26th at 7pm: Cool Off with Sam Kean and the Ice Pick Surgeon!