Adam Rutherford on His Latest Book about Eugenics

Today’s podcast features Adam Rutherford, a geneticist trained at University College London who has spent much of his career as a science communicator: as an editor at Nature, as a radio and television commentator for the BBC, and as the author of such books with delightful titles, including "Creation: the Origin of Life/The Future of Life and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived" and "How to Argue With a Racist". With his most recent book, "CONTROL: The Dark History and Troubled Present of Eugenics", Adam takes on the complicated, disturbing, and occasionally simply weird history of an idea that was the impetus for the earliest forms of clinical genetics: that society could be improved through felicitous breeding.

Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer is a master at describing the sort of shiny objects that obsess the sci-curious: children that leave neurons behind in their mother’s brain, mice that pass memories down in their sperm, his own Neanderthal DNA. But the heft and depth of his new book, She Has Her Mother’s Laugh (and it is a hefty tome!) is that the shiny objects are merely the way in to big, complicated stories told in straightforward, engaging prose. So the tale about the giant’s bones turns into a discussion of the thorny topic of calculating heritability. And that crazy mouse experiment? Carl bravely tackles the contentious debate between epigenetic researchers and their naysayers.

Bob Resta

Welcome to Episode #1.

Bob Resta turns an anthropologist’s eye on genetic counseling, from the arrival of amniocentesis to current issues stemming from routinized testing and conflict of interest. He’s not the Founder of Genetic Counseling, but he may be the field’s foremost Grumpy Uncle.

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