When Radiolab was just starting out, Robert asked Dr. Oliver Sacks if he could help us, maybe send us a few story ideas. Over the years he has shared with us stories of chemistry, music, neurology, hallucinations and more, so much more. Because Oliver notices the world and the people around him with scientific rigor, with insight, and most importantly, with deep empathy. When he announced a few months ago that he had terminal cancer and wasn't going to do any more interviews, we asked him if he'd talk with us one last time. He said yes. So Robert went, as he has done for 30 some years now, to his apartment with a microphone, this time to ask him about the forces that have driven him in his work, in his unique relationships with his patients, and in his own life.
This performance was scored live by the incomparable Sarah Lipstate/Noveller. Her new album Fantastic Planet is out now.
The lullabies you hear in "Dr. Sacks Looks Back" are sung by Carrie Erving, whose current project is Ponyhof.
Though it probably goes without saying, we highly recommend Dr. Sacks' new autobiorgraphy, On The Move.