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In this hour, Deborah Blum tells the remarkable story of the two scientists who invented forensic medicine and figured out how to catch killers using poison. The late 19th century was the golden age of arsenic, when poisoners got away with murder. That all changed in the 1920s when these New York scientists learned how to detect toxins in the human body.
Then, a few maverick physicists in the 1970s revived interest in the philosophical dimensions of physics - especially quantum mechanics - by investigating some of the deepest questions in science: quantum entanglement, the connection between quantum reality and consciousness, even the paranormal. Some actually managed to get CIA funding for their research on ESP.
Next, science historian Holly Tucker chronicles the controversies over the first blood transfusions in the 17th century and why this raised fundamental questions about what it means to be human. It's a great story about the origins of science, the fear of monsters and it even involves a scandalous murder trial.
And finally, journalist Steve Volk believes the paranormal can be studied scientifically and says it's also a great subject for journalists. He considers a range of paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, UFOs, life after death, and also talks about a memorable ghost story in his own family history. [Broadcast Date: October 7, 2011]