Last updated:23 March, 2009 - 11:38 GMT

8/03/2009 - The Forum

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The Forum

Allan Kellehear, professor of Sociology at the University of Bath, on the factors underpinning a massive increase in lonely deaths world wide.

Throughout most of human history, there has been recognition not just of death but of the dying process itself, with strong community support for the dying. Now this support is being eroded because of the stigma and fear attached to those dying from AIDS in Africa and South-east Asia and the professionalisation of death in our cities.

Renowned British theatre and opera director Jonathan Miller is also a trained doctor and he discusses the power of observation as a diagnostic tool in medicine how it can be applied more generally.

Daniel Everett, professor of Anthropology, Biological Sciences and Linguistics at Illinois State University, and author of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes on what he's learned from studying an Amazonian people who believe nothing unless they've experienced it for themselves; Everett claims this ethos has shaped their unusual grammar - if true, a challenge to mainstream linguistic theory.

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