Debating when death begins, and the fate of abandoned lands

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A new approach promises to increase organ transplants but some question whether they should proceed without revisiting the definition of death, and what happens to rural lands when people head to urban centers


First up this week, innovations in organ transplantation lead to ethical debates. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel and several transplant surgeons and doctors about defining death, technically. Also in this segment:

  • Anji Wall, abdominal transplant surgeon and bioethicist at Baylor University Medical Center
  • Marat Slessarav, consultant intensivist and donation physician at the London Health Sciences Centre and assistant professor in the department of medicine at Western University
  • Nader Moazami, surgical head of heart transplantation at New York University Langone Health


Next up, what happens to abandoned rural lands when people leave the countryside for cities? Producer Kevin McLean talks with Gergana Daskalova, a Schmidt Science Fellow in the Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation group at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, about how the end of human activities in these places can lead to opportunities for biodiversity.


This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Additional music provided by


About the Science Podcast


[Image: Martin Cathrae/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]


[alt: partially collapsed old barn with podcast overlay]


Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kevin McLean; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel


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