I heard this on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Actually, I heard bits of it on two separate trips. It’s one of those broadcasts that fascinated me so, I had to find it on the internet and listen again.
Siddhartha won the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-fiction for The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer in 2011. He’s like the Carl Sagan of medicine. He explains things in a way that both simplifies and enthralls.
First a little biography on Siddhartha: He’s an oncologist and a cancer researcher. He has a PhD from Stanford University of Oxford where he studied cancer-causing viruses and he’s a graduate of Harvard Medical School. Siddhartha works on discovering new treatments for cancer using innovative biological methods.
“Fresh Air” talked to him about his new book The Gene: An Intimate History. I took notes from the 45-minute podcast to create my post. Although this new book has a strong cancer component, it encompasses much more.
According to Siddhartha, the “Centerpiece of the book is that biology is not destiny. But some aspects of biology and some aspects of destiny are commanded very strongly by genes.”