180 | Camilla Pang on Instructions for Being Human

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Being a human is tricky. There are any number of unwritten rules and social cues that we have to learn as we go, but that we ultimately learn to take for granted. Camilla Pang, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age eight, had a harder time than most, as she didn’t easily perceive the rules of etiquette and relationships that we need to deal with each other. But she ultimately figured them out, with the help of analogies and examples from different fields of science. We talk about these rules, and how science can help us think about them.

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Camilla Pang received her Ph.D. in computational biology from University College London. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in pharmaceuticals and a volunteer cancer researcher at the Francis Crick Institute. She was awarded the Royal Society Prize for Science Books in 2020 for her book Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love, and Relationships (US title: An Outsider’s Guide to Humans: What Science Taught Me about What We Do and Who We Are).

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