Main content

Susan Blackmore

Sue Lawley's castaway is psychologist Susan Blackmore.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week says changing her mind was one of the most difficult things she's ever had to do. After an out-of-body experience, psychologist Susan Blackmore set out to study and prove the existence of the paranormal. Twenty years on, she's a convinced sceptic.

She continues, however, to be fascinated by the question of consciousness. In particular, the new theory of memes which examines how habits and beliefs are passed on from one person to another. At their worst, she says, they're evident in fascism or religious fundamentalism. At their best, they're responsible for our co-operation and kindness.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Not Fade Away by Grateful Dead
Book: Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Luxury: A handful of cannabis seeds

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 8 May 1998 09:00

Music Played

  • Carl Orff

    O Fortuna (from Carmina Burana)

    Choir: Choristers of Cathedral and Abbey Church, St Alba Conductor: Franz Welser-Most

    • Carmina Burana.
    • EMI.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Grateful Dead

      Not Fade Away

      • Grateful Dead.
      • Warner Bros.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Kyrie (from Mass in D minor 'Nelsonmesse')

    Soloist: Barbara Hendricks Orchestra: Bavarian Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Sir Colin Davis

    • Hallelujah!.
    • Philips.
  • Edie Brickell & New Bohemians


    • Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars.
    • Geffen.
  • Dire Straits

    Telegraph Road

    • Love Over Gold.
    • Vertigo.
  • Douglas Adams

    Babel Fish

    Artist: Peter Jones

    • The Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.
    • BBC Records and Tapes.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Musical Offering - Ricercar a 3

    Orchestra: Ensemble Sonnerie

    • The Musical Offering BWV 1079.
    • Veritas.
  • The Verve

    Bitter Sweet Symphony

    • Urban Hymns.
    • Hut Recordings.
  • Book Choice

    • Origin of Species - Charles Darwin

  • Luxury Choice

    • A handful of cannabis seeds


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Susan Blackmore


  • Sun 3 May 1998 11:15
  • Fri 8 May 1998 09:00

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?