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Books and Ideas with Dr. Ginger Campbell

86 EpisodesProduced by Ginger Campbell, MDWebsite

Books and Ideas is hosted by Dr. Ginger Campbell, an emergency physician who is best known for the highly regarded Brain Science Podcast. On Books and Ideas Dr. Campbell explores a wide range of topics ranging from science fiction to the philosophy of science. The show is no longer in regular produc… read more

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February 22nd, 2024


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BI 76 Jeremy Sherman, author of "Neither Ghost or Machine"

March 15th, 2020


Several years ago I interviewed Terrence Deacon about his fascinating book Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter. His goal was to propose a …

BI 75 Amanda Popei from the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association

February 15th, 2020


This episode of Books and Ideas is a follow up of my previous interview of Becky Hale, past-president of the American Humanist Association (AHA). I …

BI 74 Brian Keating talks about Cosmology and Losing the Nobel Prize

January 15th, 2020


This month's episode of Books and Ideas is an interview with astronomer Brian Keating about his memoir Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, …

BI 73 Susan Schneider explores the future of AI

December 15th, 2019


This episode of Books and Ideas is an interview with Susan Schneider, author of a fascinating new book called Artificial You: AI and the Future of Your Mind. Schneider's book goes beyond the question of whether AI might …

BI 72 Adele Brand shares "The Hidden World of Foxes"

November 15th, 2019


This episode of Books and Ideas features Adele Brand, author of the new book The Hidden World of the Fox. Foxes are surprisingly widespread even in urban areas. This episode reveals their surprising story.

Links and …

BI 71 A Podcasting Retrospective with Ginger Campbell, MD

October 15th, 2019


This episode is an adapted version of the talk I gave last week at the first annual She Podcasts Live event, which was held October 10-13, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. I was asked to share my experience of podcasting …

BI 70 Liz Covart from "Ben Franklin's World"

September 16th, 2019


This is an interview with historian Liz Covart about her highly respected podcast "Ben Franklin's World." We explore what it means to be an historian in the 21st Century and the challenges of sharing early American …

BI 69 Dr Pamela Gay from Astronomy Cast

August 15th, 2019


This episode of Books and Ideas features the return of Podcasting Hall of Famer, Dr. Pamela Gay. Dr. Gay is co-host of the long running show Astronomy Cast. As a professional astronomer she has dedicated her career to …

BI 68 "Lost in a Great Game" with Dr Pete Etchells

July 15th, 2019


Books and Ideas 68 is an interview with psychologist Dr Pete Etchells about his new book Lost in a Good Game: Why we play video games and what they …

Lillian Faderman, author of "Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death"

June 15th, 2019


In honor of Pride month I am sharing an interview I recorded earlier this year with LGBT historian Lillian Faderman about her latest book Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death. Milk was the first openly gay man elected to …

BI 66 Sarah Rhea Werner (aka Girl in Space)

May 15th, 2019


One of the things I love about Books and Ideas is that it gives me the chance to interview people from a wide variety of fields. In BI 66 I talk with Sarah Rhea Werner, a very talented young writer and podcaster. She is …

BI 65 Jody Cole from Wild Rainbow African Safaris

April 15th, 2019


This is an interview with my friend Jody Cole, founder of Wild African Rainbow Safaris. We explore how she built her business from the ground up …

2018 Trailer

December 26th, 2018


I had hoped to relaunch Books and Ideas before the end of 2018, but I want to relaunch with a return interview with Podcasting Hall of Famer, Dr. Pamela Gay of Astronomy Cast.

Please stay subscribed so you won't miss it …

BI 61 Mur Lafferty talks about "Six Wakes"

March 23rd, 2017


Books and Ideas #61 is an interview with author Mur Lafferty, who just published a new novel called Six Wakes, which she calls a "clone murder mystery." In this interview Mur reflects on her writing career so far and …

BI 60 Matthew Cobb on "Life's Greatest Secret"

December 17th, 2015


Episode 60 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Matthew Cobb, author of Life's Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code. We focus on some of the unsung scientists who made essential discoveries.

Matthew …

BI 59 Phenomenology with Anthony Chemero

October 26th, 2015


This episode introduces Phenomenology, a philosophical tradition that focuses on the nature of experience. We talk with Dr. Anthony Chemero, …

BI 58 In Memory of Dr. Dennis G Smith

August 21st, 2015


Episode 58 of Books and Ideas is a short episode dedicated to my late husband Dr. Dennis G Smith, who died unexpectedly on July 25th 2015. We were …

BI 57 Why Podcast? with Elsie Escobar

June 22nd, 2015


Episode 57 is the first episode of Books and Ideas that I have produced in 2015. It is a conversation with experienced podcaster Elsie Escobar. Elsie brings a unique perspective to the question Why Podcast? because she …

BI 56 Palliative Medicine with Dr. Amos Bailey

November 7th, 2014


Episode 56 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Dr. Amos Bailey, one of the pioneers of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. We talk about the origins of the field and try to dispel some common misperceptions about what …

BI 55 Dr. John Ratey Talks about his New Book

June 23rd, 2014


Episode 55 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Dr. John Ratey, co-author of "Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization." There is considerable evidence that our hunter-gatherer ancestors …

54 Dr. Michael Saags, HIV-AIDS Pioneer

May 26th, 2014


My apologies for uploading an incomplete version of this episode, and worst of all not detecting the problem for almost a week.

Episode 54 of Books …

BI 53 Humanism with Becky Hale

February 26th, 2014


Episadoe 53 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Rebecca Hale, current President of the American Humanist Association. We talk about the history of humanism and how it differs from skepticism and atheism. We also …

BI 52 Author Mur Lafferty Returns

September 26th, 2013


Mur Lafferty is one of the pioneers of podcasting and was one of my inspirations for starting two podcasts back in 2006. She was interviewed here way back in Episode 17, so I am glad to have her back. Mur has been …

Fall 2013 Announcement

August 29th, 2013


I just wanted to let you know that a new episode of Books and Ideas wil be coming soon. Thanks so much for subscribing. Learn more at

BI 51: Animal Emotions with Jaak Panksepp

February 8th, 2013


Episode 51 of Books and Ideas is actually a followup of Dr. Jaak Panksepp's recent interview on the Brain Science Podcast. There we talked in depth …

BI 50 Secular Buddhism with Ted Meisner

December 14th, 2012


Episode 50 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Ted Meisner, host of The Secular Buddhist podcast. We talk a little about the basics of Buddhism …

BI 49 Top Score's Emily Reese

November 16th, 2012


Episode 49 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Emily Reese from Minnesota Public Radio. Reese is the host of two podcasts that I enjoy: Top Score and Learning to Listen. In this interview we focus on Top Score, …

BI 48 How Storytelling Makes Us Human

August 24th, 2012


Episode 48 of Books and Ideas is interview with Jonathan Gottschall, author of "The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human."

Show notes and free episode transcripts are available at

Send …

BI 47 Terrence Deacon: "Incomplete Nature"

July 14th, 2012


Episode 47 of Books and Ideas is being released simultaneously in the Brain Science Podcast feed. It is an interview with Terrence Deacon, PhD., …

Announcement: My first eBook is out!

June 14th, 2012


I have just published my first eBook: Are You Sure? The Unconscious Origins of Certainty. It is currently available only in the Kindle format at, but I will send you the PDF version if you email me a copy of …

BI 46 Exploring Alabama with Roger Reid

January 13th, 2012


This episode is an interview with Roger Reid, writer and producer for the Emmy Award winning public TV show Discovering Alabama with Dr. Doug Phillips

BI 45: Fifth Anniversary Episode

December 19th, 2011


Episode 45 of Books and Ideas is a look back at the first five years of this podcast. I take the opportunity to thank each of my 33 guests and let you know what's coming in 2012. For detailed show notes and episode …

BI 44 Karen Traviss: Author of Gears of War

November 11th, 2011


Episode 44 of Books and Ideas is an interview with science fiction author Karen Traviss. She has written 4 novels based on the popular video game

Carol Tavris on Cognitive Dissonance (BI 43)

September 27th, 2011


Episode 43 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Carol Tavris, PhD, co-author (with Eliot Aronson) of Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We …

#42 Why Neuroscience Matters with Ginger Campbell, MD

June 24th, 2011


Episode 42 of Books and Ideas is an edited version of the talk that Dr. Campbell gave in May 2011 in London at Skeptics in the Pub. "Why Neuroscience Matters" is a brief introduction to some of the recent discoveries in …

#41 17th Century Medicine with Holly Tucker

April 27th, 2011


Episode 41 of the Books and Ideas podcast is an interview with Holly Tucker, author of "Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific …

#40 Paul Offit Returns

February 28th, 2011


Books and Ideas #40 is an interview with Dr. Paul Offit author of "Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All."

Feel free to …

#39 Eric Maisel

December 22nd, 2010


Episode 39 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Dr. Eric Maisel, author of "Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions."

Complete show notes and episode transcripts are available at

#38: DragonCon 2010

October 20th, 2010


Episode 38 is a live interview with novelists Christiana Ellis and Skyler White. Full show notes and episode transcripts are available at

#37 Philosophy of Science with Massimo Pigliucci

August 8th, 2010


Episode 37 of Books and Ideas is an interview with scientist turned philosopher Massimo Pigliucci. Dr. Campbell talks with Dr. Pigliuccis about his …

#36 Daniel George and "The Myth of Alzheimer's"

April 28th, 2010


Books and Ideas 36 is an interview with Daniel George, co-author of "The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded …

#35 Scott Sigler

February 26th, 2010


Episode 35 of Books and Ideas is an interview with best-selling author Scott Sigler. Scott is known for his unique blend of horror and hard science fiction. In this interview Dr. Ginger Campbell talks to him about his …

#34 Bruce Hood, author of SUPERSENSE

January 27th, 2010


Episode 34 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Bruce Hood, author of "SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable." Dr. Hood is a …

#33 Kyla Duffy from Happy Tails Books

December 16th, 2009


Episode 33 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Kyla Duffy from Happy Tails Books. Duffy publishes inspiring stories about how adopting rescued dogs enriches peoples lives. Proceeds go to various rescue organizations.

#32 Books and Ideas: "Unscientific America"

November 25th, 2009


Episode 32 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-author of "Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future." Our emphasis is on the importance of scientists learning to …

#31 Books and Ideas: NASA's Les Johnson

October 22nd, 2009


Episode 31 of Books and Ideas was recorded live at Dragon*Con 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is an interview with NASA's Les Johnson and focuses on his book, "Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth."

You will find show …

H1N1 Flu Vaccine

October 17th, 2009


This is a brief public service announcement from SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG. Vincent Rancaniello, PhD from This Week in Virology and Marc Pelletier, PhD …

#30 Books and Ideas: Tom Clark on Naturalism

September 25th, 2009


Episode 30 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Tom Clark, author of Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and Its Uses. We discuss the implications of naturalism as a world view, especially as it relates to questions …

Books and Ideas: Announcement for June 2009

June 28th, 2009


Books and Ideas will return in September 2009. Previous episodes are available at

Send email to gincampbell at

Theme music for Books and Ideas is "The Open Door" by Beatnik Turtle.

#29 Books and Ideas: "A Life Worth Living"

May 22nd, 2009


Episode 29 of Books and Ideas is a follow-up interview with Dr. Robert Martensen. In Episode 28 we talked about Dr. Martensen's career. This month we …

#28 Books and Ideas: Dr. Robert Martensen Part 1

April 24th, 2009


Books and Ideas #28 is an interview with Robert Martensen, MD, author of A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era. This is the first of a two-part interview. In this episode we talked …

#27 Books and Ideas: Jennifer Michael Hecht

March 27th, 2009


Episode 27 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of "Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson" …

#26 Books and Ideas: "Grave Expectations"

February 27th, 2009


Episode 26 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Sue Bailey and Carmen Flowers, the authors of "Grave Expectations: Planning the End Like There's No Tomorrow." This book helps readers to plan for their funeral or …

#24 Books and Ideas: Second Interview with Frank Wilczek

December 23rd, 2008


Episode 24 of Books and Ideas is a follow-up interview with Nobel Prize winning physicist. Dr. Frank Wilczek. We discuss the questions that we didn't …

#23 Books and Ideas: Nobel Physicist Frank Wilczek

November 2nd, 2008


Episode 23 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Frank Wilczek, PhD. Dr. Wilczek won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2004 and is the author of the new book Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of …

#22 Books and Ideas: Dragon*Con 2008

September 29th, 2008


Episode 22 of Books and Ideas is all about my recent adventures at Dragon*Con 2008.

Please visit for detailed show notes and episode transcripts.

Send email to Ginger Campbell, MD at gincampbell …

7/29/08 Books and Ideas: Announcement

July 29th, 2008


7/29/08 Announcement: The next regular episode of Books and Ideas will come out in September, 2008. This brief announcement includes information …

#21 Books and Ideas: Interview with Eugenie Scott

June 30th, 2008


Episode 21 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Dr. Eugenie Scott, the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. We talk …

#20 Books and Ideas: Mindfulness Meditation with Delany Dean

May 27th, 2008


Books and Ideas #20: This is the corrected version of my interview with Delany Dean. I apologize to anyone who got the version with most of the sound …

#19 Books and Ideas: "Predictably Irrational" with Dan Ariely

April 22nd, 2008


Episode 19 of Books and Ideas is an interview with MIT's Dan Ariely, author of the bestseller Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.

For show notes and transcripts  go to

#18 Books and Ideas: Interview with Tabitha Grace Smith

March 28th, 2008


Books and Ideas #18 is an interview with writer and podcaster, Tabitha Grace Smith. She is the producer and one of the main writers of the audio drama "Buffy Between the Lines," which recently won the Podcasting Peer …

#17 Books and Ideas: Mur Lafferty

February 26th, 2008


Episode 17 of Books and Ideas is an interview with writer Mur Lafferty. We talk about her new novel Playing for Keeps. Lafferty co-wrote Tricks of the Podcasting Masters, so we also talk about some of the challenges of …

#15 Books and Ideas Podcast: Dr. Robert Schleip

December 20th, 2007


#15 Books and Ideas Podcast is an interview with Dr. Robert Schleip of the University of Ulm, Germany. We discuss recent discoveries about fascia-a …

#14 Books and Ideas Podcast: Dr. Pamela Gay of Astronomy Cast

October 31st, 2007


#14 Books and Ideas Podcast: Dr. Pamela Gay from the Astronomy Cast talks with host Dr. Ginger Campbell about podcasting, astronomy, and the challenges of combining teaching and research with podcasting.

Show Notes and …

# 13-Books and Ideas: Harry Potter with Guest Co-host, Patrick Pricken

August 3rd, 2007


Books and Ideas #13: Harry Potter with guest Co-host, Patrick Pricken. This is a discussion of the international best-selling Harry Potter Series,by JK Rowling.

The first two parts of the episode are spoiler-free. If …

#12-Books and Ideas: Does Free Will Exist?

July 17th, 2007


Books and Ideas #12: Does Free Will Exist? This episode is a discussion of  The Myth of Free Will (2007) by Cris Evatt (Editor).

For Show Notes and transcripts go to

Send comments to gincampbell …

#11-Books and Ideas: Interview with Harvard's Neel Varshney

May 29th, 2007


This is the corrected version of the podcast. There is about 2 minutes of added material that begins at 5:37. The end of the interview is still awkward because somehow I failed to record the usual farewells.

This episode …

#10 Books and Ideas: An American Living in France

April 15th, 2007


Books and Ideas #10: An American Living in France

This is a conversation with writer Kirk Mcelhearn (, a native New Yorker, who has lived in France for over 20 years. We talk about  the …

#9-Books and Ideas: Challenging Nature with Lee M Silver

March 15th, 2007


Books and Ideas #9: Dr. Ginger Campbell interviews molecular biologist and author Lee M Silver about his book, "Challenging Nature: The Clash of …

#8-Books and Ideas: Palestine by Jimmy Carter

March 1st, 2007


Books and Ideas #8: Palestine by Jimmy Carter. President Jimmy Carter's book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid has raised the ire of many pro-Israel Americans. Why? Because he dares to point out the blight of the …

#7-Books and Ideas: Interviw with author Matthew Cobb

February 14th, 2007


Interview with Matthew Cobb who wrote Generation, which was discussed in #6. Cobb discusses how he became interested in the Dutch Golden Age and the …

#6 Generation by Matthew Cobb

February 1st, 2007


Matthew Cobb's book Generation (2006) is the basis of today's look at how 17th century thinkers began to explore how human reproduction happens. Rigorous experimentation represents an important step in the development …

#5-Books and Ideas: How are Science and Philosophy Related?

January 19th, 2007


#5 How are Science and Philosphy related? I explore the common heritage of science and philosophy.

 Show Notes and transcripts are at

Please send me comments at gincampbell at mac dot com or …

#4-Books and Ideas: Best and Worst Audiobooks of 2006

January 12th, 2007


#4 The Best and Worst Audiobooks I read in 2006. Shownotes for this episode are at
Send feedback to

#3-Books and Ideas: Best Audio Books of 2006

January 5th, 2007


This is the first half of a two-part discussion of my favorite audiobooks of 2006.

For more information go to the Books and Ideas website.

#2-Books and Ideas: The Trouble with Physics

December 20th, 2006


The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin.
Show Notes and transcripts can be found at

Send your feedback to Dr. Campbell at gincampbell …

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