This Week’s Top Picks – 27th September

Some great reads and some seriously stunning documentaries. Here are my top picks from this week.

Will they write about me when I’m dead?
A lovely interview with Margalit Fox appeared in The Paris Review this week. Fox has written more than 1,200 obituaries for the New York Times and talks candidly about the challenges of interviewing people who are actually still alive and broaching the topic of suicide with bereaved families.

We don’t need your pity, we need rights and respect
Stella Young wrote a compelling piece for The Drum this week about charities who raise money by encouraging people to simulate disability. Although the pieces focuses specifically on disability, I think there are some clear implications for dementia.

Mosaic, mosaic, mosaic
I watched two gorgeous documentaries and read two interesting articles on the Mosaic Science website this week. Until: Who wants to live for ever? is film-maker Barry J. Gibb’s elegant exploration of longevity and finding the right time to die. Also by Gibb, The Last Chance Saloon, is an award-winning series that watches as one man, armed only with his camera and his banjo, searches for mental health. The Alzheimer’s Enigma charts the scientific race to find the cause of, and cure for, Alzheimer’s disease (with a few literary detectives thrown in for good measure). Finally, a dreadfully titled piece (Can meditation really slow ageing?) contained a fascinating account of how Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn (famous for her research on telomeres) is now studying the benefits of meditation.

Why Research?
Tim Dean wrote a beautiful piece for The Conversation this week on why we need research. Of course it resonated with me as a researcher, but I think it’s also a great explanation for lay people and those working in advocacy and policy.

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