We asked Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Neena Grover “What’s on Your Reading List?”

Photo by Jennifer Coombes

“What does it mean to be human? Three books that I read recently provided ample perspectives on our perceived similarities and differences. Rebecca Skloot’s ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ highlights the role of ethics and race in medicine. What happens when we don’t value people of color? Carl Zimmer’s book ‘She Has Her Mother’s Laugh’ takes historical construction of race and heredity into the current era of genomics and designer babies. Whose genome are we examining? Who has access to medicine? With the voices of women often missing from the public discourse, Mary Beard’s ‘Women and Power’ examines the historical and cultural roots of gender differences and what we can do to make the world a better place for everyone. Progress requires radical rethinking, as Mary Beard would say.”