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Episodes
  • Apr 6 2022

    Radiant Minds: The World of Oliver Sacks investigates consciousness, the brain, and the human experience, drawing inspiration from works by the neurologist and beloved author Oliver Sacks. Oliver cared for people with misunderstood neurological conditions at a time when many in the medical community had turned their backs on them. 

    Radiant Minds expands upon his work and harnesses the emotional power of some of his greatest stories to address broader themes of neurodiversity, identity, and individuality. Each installment of this show introduces listeners to a world of scientific wonder: stories of incredible resilience in the face of life-altering neurological conditions and the powers of the human brain we often take for granted. You'll hear from some of his patients, as well as scientists, and artists whose insights will invite you to think about your own brain with a newfound sense of respect. Every second awaits discovery, much like Oliver's own life. 

    *Contains sensitive material*

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    3 mins
  • Apr 14 2022
    Who was Oliver Sacks, and why are we still talking about him?
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    37 mins
  • Apr 14 2022
    What if Sleeping Beauty had taken four decades to awaken, and her prince had become an old man?
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    49 mins

About the Creator and Performer

Indre Viskontas is a neuroscientist, opera stage director, and science communicator across all mediums. Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, she is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of San Francisco where she runs The Creative Brain Lab, and the Creative Director of Pasadena Opera. She leads the Communications Core at the Sound Health Network, promoting research and public awareness of the impact music can have on our health and well-being. She directed Kat’a Kabanova at the California Shakespeare Theater for West Edge Opera in the summer of 2021.
Dr. Viskontas received a BSc in psychology and French literature from the University of Toronto, an MM degree in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from UCLA. She has published more than 50 articles and book chapters related to the neural basis of memory, music and creativity. Her scientific work has been featured in Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia, Nature: Science Careers, and Discover Magazine. She has also written for American Scientist, MotherJones.com, Vitriol Magazine, and other publications. Her first book, How Music Can Make You Better, was published by Chronicle Books in 2019.
She has co-hosted several TV and web series, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, PBS NewsHour, major radio stations across the US, including NPR’s City Arts & Lectures and the CBC’s The Sunday Edition. She is the host of the popular science podcast Inquiring Minds, downloaded more than 14 million times. Her other podcast, Cadence: what music tells us about the mind was a finalist for the Science Media awards, a 2021 Webby Awards Honoree, and is in its third season, with over 100,000 downloads. She is also the host and writer of the Audible Original podcast Radiant Minds: the World of Oliver Sacks.
She often gives keynote talks, for organizations as diverse as Genentech, the Dallas Symphony, SXSW, TEDx and Ogilvy along with frequent invited talks at conferences and academic institutions. She has created three 24-lecture courses for The Great Courses: Essential Scientific Concepts, Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, and How Digital Technology Shapes Us. Her fourth course called The Creative Brain will be released in August 2022.

Dear Listener,

What inspired my focus on Oliver Sacks's work, and what do I hope you will take away from this listen and Sacks's legacy?
"Like so many of my peers, I became a neuroscientist thanks to Oliver Sacks's poetic and profound stories about the human brain. When I was a teenager, I even wrote him a letter to ask him, essentially, how I could end up just like him. He wrote back that becoming a physician gave him a privileged view of the lives of his patients, and through them, he was able to get a 'feeling for the organism.' I love that idea—that by listening, by observing and holding space for others, we get a little closer to understanding ourselves. There's so much neuroscience out there now, and we can easily get lost in the headlines or flashy findings. But there's so much to be gained by slowing down for a minute and taking a deep dive into what it's like to inhabit a brain.
I hope that you, listeners, will have many driveway moments—moments in which you delay a chore or an activity because you are so immersed in the story we're telling and don't want to turn it off. And I hope that you will leave the series a little more curious, a little more hopeful, having found a little more meaning in your life. As Oliver pointed out, it's a privilege to be a sentient human on this beautiful planet, but it's so easy to forget that in our modern existence." – Indre Viskontas, creator of Radiant Minds

Enjoy the Trailer for Radiant Minds

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What listeners say about Radiant Minds

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Incredible!!

The stories are so moving and interesting. So full of perspective. Moved me to tears, narrating was great!

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incredibly insightful

Excellent topic and presentation. Simultaneously provocative and humbling. A catalyst for becoming a better human through understanding and empathy.

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  • 04-10-22

I can’t wait for the first episode

I have always been passionate about the brain and people, and although I don’t know if I’ve got what it takes to be a neurologist I will always be fascinated of this topic. I will never stop seeking stories and information about it. So here I am waiting for more! Because I absolutely loved the trailer.

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Excellent

on a fluke I downloaded this podcast. I can not say enough good things. It was informative, engaging and expertly handled. I hope more episodes are added.

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Great Series!

Amazing and stimulating work by Greenlawn, Indre Viskontas, and the Oliver Sacks Foundation in creating a series that celebrates the work of one of the great minds of our time and continues the discussion.

Fascinating stories, profound conversation, great guests and narration - overall an incredible listen!

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Eye-opening stories! Amazing series.

This is one of the best series I've ever listened to. I only wish there were more episodes!! I was so moved and touched by these episodes and hearing others' stories. It also makes me realize how grateful I should be and how much of life is taken for granted. Thank you for sharing this work and the works of Dr. Oliver Sacks!

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Thank you

I adore Oliver Sacks and the world lost something special when he passed. This series would have made him so proud, I think. It was wonderful to learn more about him, more about the cases he wrote about, and about neurology. Thank you for this gift.

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I love Ollie Sacks

Better than listening to a fictional story is my opinion about this podcast. I highly recommend anything related to Oliver Sacks. He’s a great writer too. And was a beautiful human soul, doctor, and I imagine friend. I always wanted to meet him.

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Changed the way I see the world

This episode- I have cited it repeatedly since I first heard it a few weeks ago. It changes my approach to education, to work, yo social interactions. Everyone’s experience will be different, but, for me, a physician, the information in this episode was revelatory and I am grateful.

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wonderful

the series is really fascinating and very compelling. I liked listening to this audio book

1 person found this helpful