• Academy Events

  • Experiencing Death: An Insider's Perspective

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by The Nour Foundation, The New York Academy of Sciences, and Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge

    Video of the full event is available on the Nour Foundation website.

    This event is part of the Rethinking Mortality series.

    For millennia, human beings have wondered what happens when we die. What is the first-person experience of dying and being brought back to life? Technological advances in resuscitation science have now added an intriguing new chapter to the literature of "out of body" or "near death experiences" by eliciting detailed and vivid accounts of those who have approached the threshold of death. However we might seek to explain such phenomena, it is no longer tenable to simply dismiss this accumulating body of firsthand experiences. Can these experiences be explained through the lens of biology and neuroscience? What can we learn from the transformative accounts of those who have nearly died? How have their experiences affected their sense of self and identity? Join neurologist Kevin Nelson, psychiatrist Peter Fenwick, critical care physician Sam Parnia, and orthopedic surgeon and drowning survivor Mary Neal as they share some of these remarkable stories and discuss how they analyze such experiences in light of their own backgrounds and training.

    *Reception to follow.


    Peter Fenwick, MB BChir, FRCPsych

    Emeritus Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Maudsley Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital, and Broadmoor Hospital
    Author of The Truth in the Light: An Investigation of over 300 Near-death Experiences

    Mary Neal, MD

    Orthopedic Surgeon and drowning survivor
    Author of To Heaven and Back

    Kevin Nelson, MD

    Professor of Neurology, University of Kentucky Medical Center
    Author of The Spiritual Doorway in the Brain: A Neurologist's Search for the God Experience

    Sam Parnia, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Critical Care Medicine
    Director of Resuscitation Research, State University of New York
    Author of Erasing Death


    Steve Paulson

    Executive Producer, Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally-syndicated program To the Best of Our Knowledge

    Registration Pricing — Individual Lecture Prices

    Member (including students) $5
    Nonmember $15
    Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow) $7

    Presented by

    • The New York Academy of Sciences
    • Nour Foundation
    • To the Best of Our Knowledge

    Media Sponsor


    This event is part of The Rethinking Mortality Series

    Moderated by Steve Paulson, Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio's To the Best of Our Knowledge, this four-part lecture series brings together leading experts from various fields to discuss how the latest research is challenging our understanding of the very nature of mortality.

    To learn more about each lecture and to purchase tickets, click on the links below.

    Reversing Death: The Miracle of Modern Medicine, October 9, 2013
    Prolonging Life: Legal, Ethical, and Social Dilemmas, November 12, 2013
    Experiencing Death: An Insider's Perspective, December 11, 2013
    Confronting Mortality: Faith and Meaning across Cultures, February 5, 2014