To the Best of Our Knowledge

Rethinking Mortality:
Exploring the Boundaries between Life and Death

Remarkable advances in resuscitation medicine—the science of bringing people back to life—have blurred the once clear demarcation between life and death. Led by physicians across the globe, these developments are creating a paradigm shift in our understanding of death, challenging the perception that it is an implacable, terminal moment with the realization that death is a dynamic, biological process that is capable of being reversed.

Today, people who have been pronounced "dead" are being brought back to life minutes to even hours after taking their last breath, with the possibility of leading healthy and normal lives. Moreover, many of these individuals, spanning all ages and backgrounds, are now reporting—in surprisingly vivid and similar accounts—their firsthand experience of what happened after their cardiac arrest, raising the unavoidable question of the continuity of consciousness beyond physical death.

In light of these striking developments, this four-part series, moderated by Steve Paulson, journalist and Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio's To The Best Of Our Knowledge, will bring together leading experts at the crossroads of emergency medicine and neuroscience, psychology and law, anthropology and philosophy. They will explore this new frontier at the intersection of life and death, and its potential implications for how we understand and approach our mortality from scientific, ethical, and spiritual perspectives.


Reversing Death: The Miracle of Modern Medicine
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out

Steve Paulson, Sam Parnia, Lance Becker, Stephan Mayer

Emergency medicine experts Lance Becker and Sam Parnia and neurosurgeon Stephan Mayer highlight key discoveries in resuscitation science that are helping to bring back those on the brink of death, as well as the difficult questions and ethical dilemmas they confront in the process. Learn More | Press Release
Webcast Podcast


Prolonging Life: Legal, Ethical, and Social Dilemmas
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out

Steve Paulson, Christopher Comfort, Barbara Coombs Lee, Mildred Solomon, Sam Shemie

As lifesaving technologies continue to advance, how do we determine when medical and financial resources should be used to prolong the lives of patients suspended between life and death? Medical director Christopher Comfort, organ transplant specialist Sam Shemie, ethicist Mildred Solomon, and attorney Barbara Coombs Lee weigh the considerations underlying such decisions. Learn More
Webcast Podcast


Experiencing Death: An Insider's Perspective
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out

Steve Paulson, Sam Parnia, Mary Neal, Kevin Nelson, Peter Fenwick

What happens when we die? Can "out of body" or "near death" experiences be explained? Join neurologist Kevin Nelson, neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick, orthopedic surgeon and drowning survivor Mary Neal, and emergency medicine expert Sam Parnia as they discuss such accounts in light of their unique experiences and training. Learn More
Webcast Podcast


Confronting Mortality: Faith and Meaning across Cultures
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Sold Out

Steve Paulson, Allan Kellehear, Lani Leary, Jeffrey Kripal

How do cultural, social, and personal beliefs influence the way in which we perceive and experience our mortality? Psychologist Lani Leary, historian of religions Jeffrey J. Kripal, and sociologist Allan Kellehear come together for a multicultural perspective on death, dying, and what lies beyond. Learn More
Webcast Podcast

Rethinking Mortality: The Emerging Science of Consciousness



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