Stuart Hameroff is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Psychology at the University of Arizona — but he's a pariah as far as most neuroscientists are concerned. The reason? Consciousness, he dares say, is far more than just a computational process — it's actually quantum.
Along with the esteemed mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, Hameroff is the co-author of the highly controversial Orch OR model of consciousness (Orchestrated Objective Reduction ) — the suggestion that quantum phenomenon, rather than classical mechanics, can explain conscious awareness.
The theory presents a new kind of wave function collapse that occurs in isolation, called objective reduction. This wave function collapse, they argue, is the only possible non-physical thing that can account for a non-computable process, namely consciousness. They speculate that this could happen inside the brain's microtubules.
Recently, Nikola Danaylov of the Singularity 1 on 1 podcast caught up with Hameroff to learn more. The result is a fascinating one hour interview in which the two discuss a number of topics, including various theories of mind, how anesthesia can inform the debate, the Orch OR model, and why the vast majority of scientists are disdainful of it.