AARATHI PRASAD

writing | broadcast

ABOUT

I am a writer, broadcaster, and researcher educated in the Caribbean and the UK. I have a PhD in molecular genetics (Imperial College London), and postgraduate training in bioarchaeology. 

I write about the intersection of technology with people, ideas, history, health, and environment.

I work as a senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Health, UCL, focussed on urban health in Kenya. I am also part of an international team excavating and analysing ancient DNA from Mediterranean cremations.

WRITING

IN THE BONESETTER'S WAITING ROOM:

travels through Indian medicine 

(Profile / Hachette, 2016)

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

Winner—Popular Medicine category, BMA Awards 2017

LIKE A VIRGIN:

how science is redesigning the rules of sex (Oneworld, 2012)

Short-listed—Salon Transmission Prize 2014

Translations—Dutch, Italian, and Bulgarian.

SILK:

a history in three metamorphoses 

(William Collins / William Morrow, 2023)

Contributing author—

What's Next? : Even Scientists Can’t Predict the Future – Or Can They? (Profile, 2017), ed. Jim Al-Khalili

New York Times

Weapons of Reason

Litro

Guardian

Prospect

Wired

The Lancet

Vogue

Elle

Telegraph

Scientific American

BROADCAST

Brave New World with Stephen Hawking (Discovery Channel / Channel 4) | Science of the Future with Stephen Hawking (Discovery Channel / National Geographic Channel) | Tomorrow's World (BBC 1) | Is it Better to be Mixed Race? (Channel 4) | Should We Raise Children in Mixed Marriages? (4thought) | On skin colour and being British (Channel4 News) | Rewinding the Menopause (BBC Radio 4) | Quest for Virgin Birth (BBC Radio 4)

REVIEWS

Like a Virgin

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


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


“Fiery and provocative” Sunday Times


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


“...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.” BBC Focus


“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


“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​

In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room


​“…a fascinating investigation into healthcare in India…With vivid anecdotes…this is a revealing study of Indian medicine, ancient and modern.” Daily Mail


“...a fascinating book about medicine in India”, Observer


"With a biographer’s eye for detail and a novelist’s comprehension of the creative process, Aarathi masterfully allows her characters and their stories to speak for themselves. The narrative of these tales is exceptionally lucid and the detail always vivid. From neuroscience to ‘jungle berries, ancient formulae to e-health, royal wrestlers to pioneering heart surgery’— these are the tales about medicine in rapidly changing India." The Tribune

“Aarathi Prasad...sets out to explore the extraordinary diversity of, and desperation within, India's sprawling health system. Through a series of beautifully observed vignettes...she investigates India's “ancient world of medicine”. Prasad discovers both inspiration and degradation.” Lancet


“a focused and fascinating journey.” Nature


“A vivid, personal and panoramic journey through the health and beliefs of one fifth of humanity. Timely, fluent and packed with inspirational characters.” Gavin Francis

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