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Shakers & Doers Podcast Episode #1: Dr Ann Clarke
Dr Ann Clarke of Nottingham University is co-founder of The Frozen Ark, a global effort to create the world’s ultimate back-up, namely, freezing the genetic material of over 15,000 endangered species.
Should all conservations efforts fail, Dr Clarke hopes that future technology will be able to use these genetic materials she is storing to bring back extinct species, just like Jurassic Park.
Ann shares how this can be done [how you can do it too], blows the myths and misconceptions about de-extinction (oh and by the way, did you know it’s already been done?) and also talks about some of the wider implications.
A few other golden nuggets are revealed in this interview too. For example, Dr Clarke was read stories as a child by the and only Lord of the Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkein.
And through it all is an incredibly beautiful story of love. She met her husband, Professor Bryan Clarke at Oxford University, went on six scientific expeditions with him to the French Polynesian islands and there joined his unique passion for snails. It would be these small, slimy, swirly creatures that would lead to the foundation of the Frozen Ark – possibly the most ambitious biology endeavour of this decade.
Her work has gained recognition from the likes of David Attenborough and so I was thrilled to be invited for tea and cake at her laboratory in Nottingham.
This episode is dedicated to Dr Clarke’s husband Bryan, who sadly passed away in 2014. Donate to The Frozen Ark’s crowd funding campaign here.
Listen to Episode 1 of Shakers & Doers
Show Notes & Links
People, things and resources mentioned in the episode:
- The Frozen Ark
- Bryan Clarke
- [15.58] The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- [17:40] Cannibal Snail – Euglandina
- [28:30] Kilgore Trout
- [36:30] Beth Sharipo – How to clone a mammoth (book)
- Sergey Zimov – Pleistocene Park in Siberia
- [48:00] The Arrogance of Human Knowledge
- [53:00] How anyone can preserve a species
- [53:30] How to send DNA samples
- General purpose laboratory filter paper (for DNA preservation)
- [57:45] How the next generation needs to address mankind’s dominance of Earth
- [60:20] Amphibian Ark
- [67:25] How Ann was read stories as a child by Tolkein
The Frozen Ark is the world’s ultimate genetic back-up. Funded entirely by donations it needs you to survive. Please help Ann and the Frozen Ark save one more species by donating here.
About Shakers & Doers
Shakers & Doers is a podcast interviewing people who are changing the world. Pioneers in Science, Technology, Energy, Finance, Arts, History and more. I conduct long, in-depth interviews and seek to deconstruct their thinking so that anyone can apply their methods and bring about change.
This was my first episode, so please do share any constructive feedback.
Thank you for listening and please subscribe!
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