Dr Ann Clarke on De-extinction, a Frozen Ark, and The World’s Ultimate Biological Backup

Dr Ann Clarke on De-extinction, a Frozen Ark, and The World’s Ultimate Biological Backup

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 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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