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Archive for February 2011

Professor Joan Roughgarden is no ordinary biologist - and no ordinary trans woman either - though there are quite a few high academic achievers within the world wide community of gender variant, transgender and transsexual people.

Joan is perhaps best known for her 2004 book “Evolution’s Rainbow” - an academic work, written in a language accessible to the public. In it she challenges Darwin’s theory of Sexual Selection.

Her subsequent book, “Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist”, published in 2006, showed that her willingness to take on controversial subjects was, if anything, stronger and more confident ... despite the inevitable way in which her critics responded to the first.

This interview was originally recorded for another channel in the summer of 2007, but hasn't been aired on Just Plain Sense before. In the course of conversation Joan reveals an unexpected debt of gratitude to former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and talks about her biologist's view of sexual orientation.

Note that this show features a new, alternative, signature tune that I'm trying out. I'd appreciate listeners' feedback on whether you like it or prefer the traditional one. The theme is "New Ways of Seeing", composed and performed by Richard Harvey in 1978

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I’ve covered a lot about crime in various forms over nearly three years of these Podcasts. A lot has been said about hatred directed towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People. We’ve also covered domestic violence, which is mostly directed towards women.

None of these subjects are pleasant. Yet the hatred which seems the hardest to understand is that which is directed towards disabled people and those with Mental Health problems or Learning Difficulties.

The question why people behave so awfully in the first place tends to be brushed aside. And it’s clear that the unease that society as a whole has in this area is perhaps the elephant in the room.

In this episode I talk to Karen Machin, a campaigner in this field. She and her colleagues work to raise awareness about disability hate crime and how to report it.

She also works with the ‘Time to Change’ campaign, educating people about Mental Illness and she’s been involved in setting up the ‘ROLE Network’ - which is open to anyone who has experienced or supported someone through these kinds of distress or mental health issues.

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