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Angela Saini - Four Way Interview

Angela Saini presents science programmes on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, and her writing has appeared all over the world, including New Scientist, the Guardian, Science, Wired and the Economist. Angela has a Masters in Engineering from Oxford University and has won a string of awards, including the ABSW Best News Story and the  AAAS Gold Prize for radio. Her most recent book is Inferior: how science got women wrong, and the new research that's rewriting the story.

Why science?

I didn't think it would be necessary to write a book about how science can get things wrong but, surprisingly, it is. Social scientists have understood for ages that we need to be careful when we think about data and evidence to place it in context. It's strange that the public still so commonly believe that we should take published scientific papers as 'the truth' simply because scientists wrote them. 

Why this book?

I only wanted to understand myself better. We get so much conflicting information in the press about the differences between women and men, and I wanted to sift the fact from the fiction, the hype from the more sober, reliable research. The truth is, the picture that science has painted of women is deeply flawed for many reasons - prejudice, bias, laziness, and a lack of humility on the part of some male scientists. My hope is that Inferior will help people think about science more critically and understand how the process works.

What’s next?

I'm making a few radio documentaries for the BBC World Service at the moment, and travelling the country giving talks about Inferior. I'd love to get started on another book, but I'm taking a break from heavy duty writing for now.

What’s exciting you at the moment?

I have a stack of books that I haven't had time to read, so I'm looking forward to diving into them this summer. They include Homo Deus, Why I No Longer Talk to White People About Race, and The Kingdom of Women. These are interesting political times, and although it's easy to be pessimistic about the state of the world, it's certainly fascinating to watch debates unfold about the kind of societies we want to live in.

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