July 29, 2010
SGP: Waking The Dead
Neuroscientist Adrian Owen held our audience captive for a staggering hour and a half with the story of how he learned to speak to people in vegetative states using brain scans, state of the art technology, and patience.
It appears that about 17 per cent of people in comas are actually conscious, and some of these do eventually wake up and find new lives. Incredible. Terrifying and moving.
Most of the time people find me in the science tent, I’m smiling my head off – the job is such a joy. But during Adrian’s talk I spent most of the time blubbering in a corner.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to lie in the dark, unable to move or speak, ignored by everyone around you until one scientific team took the time and the energy to see that you really were in there?