Science Unzipped: Dr. Kat Arney Talks Science Communication and Book on Cancer Research


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Jan 12 2021 36 mins   7

How many podcasters does it take to evaluate the modern science field? Well, this conversation presents an intriguing attempt by two to do just that. Richard and Dr. Kat Arney touch on everything from the tangle of the publication field to the ecology of the cell. Listen and learn

  • How she approaches the history of genetics in her Genetics Unzipped podcast and what are some of her favorite stories from the year,
  • What dangers in today's publication system exist, including "predatory journals" and preprints, and
  • How her new book, Rebel Cell, explores the latest on cancer and how an evolutionary lens might help treatment.

Dr. Kat Arney is an award-winning science writer, public speaker, and broadcaster. Her PhD in developmental genetics informs her latest podcast, Genetics Unzipped, and she's just published a new book called Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution and the Science of Life. She offers listeners a plethora of interesting biomedical science tidbits, from the story behind the myth of the invention of PCR testing to why Rosalyn Franklin was left behind in the accolades for the discovery of DNA's double helix. She also describes the challenges in biomedical science in understanding COVID and our genes, and describes a study involving twins to see if the differing COVID responses stem from genetics or environment.

She and Richard also discuss their concerns with how science is tested once if hits the airwaves and internet, from the best and worst of peer review processes to the difficulty of wading through preprints. "Anyone can publish a PDF," she remarks, which ultimately is all a preprint website offers. Ultimately, the physical and natural sciences' publish-or-perish pressure has led to predatory journals, which have caused even more problems. Finally, she describes the impetus behind her latest book on cancer as a culmination of years of interest and research on the genetics and evolution of cancer. Because of advances in genomics and DNA testing, she says that we are closer to understanding cancer and she shares her hope for better treatment.

To learn more about her podcast, see geneticsunzipped.com. For information on her new book, see rebelcellbook.com.

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK