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18/12/2010 GMT

Signs, signals, codes and messages: Do fish feel pain? A nuanced view of the Middle East. Plus biosemiotics explained.

Pioneering biologist, Victoria Braithwaite, explains how she found clear-cut evidence in fish that they have the neural wiring which transmits a painful stimulus from their skin to the brain and proof that their behaviour is affected by pain. So if fish feel pain, what implications does this have for the way we farm and catch them?

Sociologist Sami Zubaida wants us to discard the blanket term “Islamic” to reveal a more accurate vision of Middle Eastern societies, where capitalism and the mostly secular institutions have been instrumental in the development of modernity.

And from philosopher Donald Favareau we find out how biology, linguistics and philosophy can interact to help overcome biology’s ‘blind spot’ and better define the essential processes of the living world, particularly as regards biological signs, signalling, messaging and codes.

Illustration by Emily Kasriel: The meaning and significance of pain felt by a hibernating Islamic fish.

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50 minutes

Last on

Mon 20 Dec 2010 01:05GMT


  • Victoria Braithwaite

    Fish feel pain.

    Duration: 17:07


    Mandatory annual six-month hibernation.

    Duration: 05:53

  • Sami Zubaida

    Beyond Islam.

    Duration: 14:34

  • Donald Favareau

    Biosemiotics explained.

    Duration: 08:26


  • Sat 18 Dec 2010 22:05GMT
  • Sun 19 Dec 2010 09:05GMT
  • Mon 20 Dec 2010 01:05GMT