The Tympanic Eclipse (



The Tympanic Eclipse is an audio podcast that brings cultural theory out of its stuffy scholarly tomes, and puts it into your ears!Together with established thinkers and makers, it explores wide ranging issues were facing in the 21st century. Without using academic jargon or relying on journalistic sensationalism, The Tympanic Eclipse points out theorys relevance to everyday life.This project received the IdeasTap Innovators Award and is produced by Britt Wray ( find the real website for the podcast (not the PodOMatic site) at


  • Making Life – exploring the philosophical implications of research that aims to create it from scratch

    23/01/2013 Duración: 19min

    How do different fields try to get at the nitty gritty of what living systems require in order to fit the definition of “alive”? How have researchers from the areas of artificial life and synthetic biology assumed certain ontologies of life, or, ways of being that life must adhere to, in their research programs? What is top down versus bottom up creation of life? What are protocells? What on earth are emergent properties? And how do these questions depend on if the world a closed or open-ended system? Tune into this episode to find out about some compelling musings on these questions. Dr. Mark Bedau a professor of Philosophy at Reed College in Portland Oregon as well as the editor of the Journal of Artificial Life. He is also the: Co-Founder of the European Center for Living Technology (ECLT) Partner in the EU-funded Programmable Artificial Cell Evolution (PACE) program Co-organizer of the Eleventh International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems (Artificial Life XI) Visiting P

  • THE TYMPANIC ECLIPSE//Bioartcamp – biologists, artists, philosophers, and the wilderness

    23/01/2013 Duración: 29min

    What do you get when you bring biologists, artists, philosophers and filmmakers out into the Canadian Rocky Mountains on a 2 week research-creation summit? Why, Bioartcamp of course! Created by Dr. Jennifer Willet, the accomplished bioartist and director of Incubator Hybrid Laboratory, working at the intersection of art, science, and ecology, Bioartcamp was an adventurous expedition in art making and social research that took place at the Banff Centre in Alberta, as well as in tents, made for bioart, out in the mountain range at Castle Mountain hostel. But first, I realize, you might not know what bioart is. In this episode you’ll start to uncover this discipline, hear from many of the people who attended Bioartcamp, as well as learn about some of the sticky situations within the field regarding its definition, practice, and motives. More on Bioartcamp can be found in this description from its website: “BioARTCAMP is a two-week residency program at The Banff Centre directed by Dr. Jennifer Willet from The

  • THE TYMPANIC ECLIPSE//Cybernetics Shows Us A World That Modern Science Can’t - What Stuff is Really Like

    23/01/2013 Duración: 22min

    What is capital M Modern science? How have humans cooked it up? What is cybernetics? And how are they different? Dr. Andy Pickering ties together western traditions of binary thinking with modern science and discusses them in comparison with cybernetics and its complimentary, pluralistic eastern philosophies that he argues allow for a more true account of what the world is really like. Cybernetics reveals the world as it changes through time rather than fits it to a formula that humans make for it, which Andy explains has political implications that defy concepts like imperialism and scientific determinism. It’s kinda like the counter culture of science, where Modern science is the mainstream. A longer version of this episode aired on RADEQ radio in London, July 21, 2012. // Andrew Pickering is internationally known as a leader in the field of science and technology studies. Pickering has held fellowships at MIT, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Princeton University, the Guggenheim Foundatio

  • It’s hard to be critical these days! Academia and Activism.

    23/01/2013 Duración: 13min

    Our university departments are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary where people from different backgrounds come together to keep each other in check while tackling large issues that have a lot at stake. One place this is happening is in synthetic biology, where computer scientists, engineers, biologists, ethicists, sociologists and artists “hold hands” in the lab as they develop new approaches to genetic engineering. Dr. Hilary Rose gets real on the promise of interdisciplinarity, and explains her concerns about what she thinks might be the dulling of criticality through such endeavours. Somehow, amazingly, she also manages to touch on feminism, the radical science movement, and Occupy! // Dr. Hilary Rose is a prominent British feminist of sociology of science and social policy. Currently she is Visiting Research Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of Bradford and Professor Emeritus of Physick, Gresham College, London. In 1997 s

  • THE TYMPANIC ECLIPSE // My house is recording me, my house is selling me?

    23/01/2013 Duración: 09min

    Smart phones, smart boards, smart homes…. every technology is apparently so darn smart, but how are we keeping up with these gadgets ourselves? Smart technologies are referred to as such because they seem intelligent enough to know about our personal needs, desires, and curiosities and they cater their computational functions to better serve us as individuals. They know us through the data we generate about our lives and appetites, but of course, that means they’re left with a database of info on us, the tasty consumer, to sell to hungry corporations. Dr. Sarah Kember explains what this looks like today with the emergence of the smart home, where ubiquitous computing is rebranded as ambient intelligence, and sold as an invisible but necessary part of domestic life for the future. There is some crazy mic hissing in parts of this piece! // Dr. Sarah Kember is a writer and academic. Her work incorporates new media, photography and feminist cultural approaches to science and technology. She is a Professor in

  • THE TYMPANIC ECLIPSE // Working to protect people we’ll never meet

    23/01/2013 Duración: 12min

    What would the future be like if there were governmentally appointed people alive today who worked to protect the basic qualities of life for people who have not yet been born? Should the not-yet-existent people of the world be represented across time? Could a group of Guardians of the Future help to reverse some of our dire and dystopian practices that hurt the Earth and its people in the process? Britt digs into the idea on a visit to Norwich, England, where she meets the philosopher and Green Party politician who thought up the idea, Dr. Rupert Read. Find the report that inspired this episode, Guardians of the Future, at, and leave your comments on what you think about this idea. Does it sound utterly naive? Or perhaps at least a bit more just? A longer version of this episode aired on RADEQ radio in London, July 14, 2012. // Dr. Rupert Read is an academic and a Green Party politician in England. He is currently Chair o