In this month’s episode we’ll talk about Science in Black and White: How Biology and Environment Shape Our Racial Divide by medical anthropologist Alondra Oubré. She delves into the science behind the nature versus nurture debate to expose racially biased research and debunk claims of inborn racial disparities and the gendered brain. The result is a deeply researched, comprehensive and nuanced title.

‘Just as many leading experts contest the notion of genes as destiny, gene–environmental interactions do not predict fated life outcomes,’ Oubré writes in her epilogue. ‘By the same token, environmental conditions do not guarantee either good or bad predetermined life outcomes, although they can have major consequences for an individual and, in some cases, his family.’

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry

If you’d like your own copy of Science in Black and White, you can find it on or

Next time, we’ll be talking about a delightful little book called Lessons from Plants. In it, the biochemist Beronda Montgomery explores the vigorous and creative life of organisms often treated as static and predictable. asking us to consider the question: What would a plant do?

If you, dear listener, have any thoughts on Science in Black and White or know of a book you would like us to discuss in an upcoming book club, let us know in the comments below or tweet at us @ChemistryWorld.