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Razib Khan's Unsupervised Learning

Mar 18, 2021

Normally I post a photograph of the guest for the podcast. But in the case of Matt Ridley, I am making an exception. Rather, I’m highlighting his 1999 book, Genome: The autobiography of a species in 23 chaptersThis book is incredibly influential for the generation of genomicists who came of age in the 21st century. Written in the late 1990’s when the genomics revolution was barely off the ground, Ridley’s elegant prose anticipated how exciting this field was going to be for many of us. Genome captured lighting that was bolting into the future.

On this podcast, Ridley and I talk about

  • The genesis of Genome

  • Which chapters hold up, and which do not

  • The success (or lack thereof) of his past and future books

  • The relevance of evolution to everything

  • Why Francis Crick is going to get “cancelled” at some point

  • If he’s still a happy Thatcherite

  • Britain’s response to COVID-19

  • The origin of COVID-19 (his next book project)