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Undisciplined: The Social Health Researcher And The Biological Anthropologist

James Joel,

This week on Undisciplined, we’re talking about the black market exchange of diabetes medications in the United States and the evolution of vocal traits of a small, nocturnal primate in Indonesia, with guests whose work is very different, but whose drive to ask and answer complicated questions is very much the same.

Joining us this week from Salt Lake City is Michelle Litchman. She is a nurse practitioner and a researcher at the University of Utah whose work focuses on the social context of chronic disease management, with a particular emphasis on diabetes and technology. Her team’s study on the underground exchange of diabetes medications and supplies was recently published in the journal of diabetes science and technology.

And with us in studio is Nanda Grow. She is a biological anthropologist at Utah State University who specializes in primatology and behavioral ecology, with a focus on understanding the ecological, morphological and genetic context for primate behavioral adaptations. Her study on cryptic communication in pygmy tarsiers was recently published in the journal folia Primatologica.

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.