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Christof Koch

Find our Sentientist Conversation here on the Sentientism YouTube and here on the Sentientism Podcast.

Christof is a neurophysiologist and computational neuroscientist best known for his work on the neural basis of consciousness on which he worked with Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick for 24 years. He is the president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Having originally trained as a physicist, from 1986 until 2013, he was a Professor of Biology and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology in Southern California.

Christof describes his passion in life as "to understand how I came to be in this wonderful, mysterious universe. Not so much me, personally, but me as a conscious, experiencing thing surrounding by other conscious organisms and trees, stars, and the sea." Over the last decade, he has worked closely with the psychiatrist and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi. Together they advocate for an Integrated Information Theory (IIT) of consciousness - often seen as a modern version of panpsychism that only ascribes consciousness to entities with some degree of irreducible cause-effect power.

Christof is the author of the books Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist. The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach, and Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons. His forthcoming book, Then I am Myself the World, is due out in 2024.

Christof has a sentiocentric moral scope saying that "For the sake of animals, I’m a vegetarian." Hopefully, as a result of our conversation, he will now be considering veganism. Having been raised Roman Catholic he now has a non-religious, naturalistic worldview.

ChristofKoch.com
Christof at the Allen Institute
Christof on Wikipedia

Latest work

Headshot of David Pena Guzman. Wearing glasses.

"What if we saw ourselves as species diplomats?" - David Peña-Guzmán of Overthink - Sentientism Ep:187

David specializes in European philosophy, the history and philosophy of science and the philosophy of animal minds. A Sentientism conversation about what's real, who matters and how to make a better world.
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"What if we saw ourselves as species diplomats?" - David Peña-Guzmán of Overthink - Sentientism Ep:187

David specializes in European philosophy, the history and philosophy of science and the philosophy of animal minds. A Sentientism conversation about what's real, who matters and how to make a better world.
More

Could animal farming be good for the animals?

Episode 186 of the Sentientism podcast (Apple link here) is a bonus cross-post of my discussion with Nick Pendergrast, co-host of 3CR's Freedom of Species radio show and podcast, about "the logic of the larder" - an argument that animal farming could be a good thing for farmed animals.
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"If you combine rationality and compassion you have the essence" - Jonathan Leighton of OPIS - Sentientism Ep:185

Jonathan is Executive Director of OPIS (Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering). A Sentientism conversation about "what's real?" "who matters?" and "how can we make a better world?"
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