Photo by Wang Wei -


Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and writer. She has appeared on TV and radio programmes, including as presenter of Quest for Virgin Birth on BBC Radio 4, Channel 4′s controversial Is It Better to Be Mixed Race?, Brave New World with Stephen Hawking (Series I) for Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel, and Series II for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Previously a cancer genetics researcher at Imperial College London, she has also worked in science communication and policy, in areas including the passage in the UK Parliament of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Her first book, Like A Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex was published (in the UK, USA, Canada, India and the Netherlands) in 2012, in Bulgarian in 2013, and Italian in 2014) with Japanese and Arabic editions to follow. She lives in London.

like a virgin


“Aarathi Prasad has travelled far into the mysterious land of human and animal conception and come back with extraordinary stories of chimaeras and parthenogens, of cannibal sharks in the womb, of pseudosperm and the prospect of birth without pregnancy. A fascinating book.” Matt Ridley, bestselling author of The Red Queen

“Think you know the birds and the bees? Prasad’s whip-smart, eye-popping book takes us on a journey into the heart of gender and reproduction—a journey whose strange history is matched only by its unexpected future.” David Eagleman, Neuroscientist, Author of Incognito and Sum


“Prasad’s first book is a fascinating, topical and hugely readable investigation…”


“Fiery and provocative…”


Entertaining and provocative, think of her as the female equivalent of Brian Cox making science accessible for the masses.”

“…fertility is, quite simply, a complex process that involves more than you might imagine. Regardless, Prasad’s humorous and anecdote-laden approach sweeps the reader along.”


“Reading the book is like watching one of those well-produced documentaries on Discovery channel. Only, Prasad has none of the benefits of the television medium, not those 3D ultrasound incursions into the womb, nor the stunning graphics. But she has her super skill — her felicity with words, the ability to breathe life into them outside labs…If you want to read just one book on sex and conception, let it be this.”


“..her book, Like A Virgin, is exploring a fundamentally serious theme, and one at the heart of Western liberal thinking.” 

A hugely successful braid of reproductive biology, history of science, and politics, this is science writing that will keep you up past your bedtime.”