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Genetics Unzipped: On Growth and Form: The extraordinary life and work of D’Arcy Thompson

Posted by , on 10 February 2022

Illustrations from On Growth And Form by D’Arcy Thompson

Whereas previously, most biologists felt that the living world had to be dealt with in a completely separate way from the non-living world, D’Arcy was saying, “Actually, no. We can look at a lot of basic forms in biology and explain their growth and shapes according to fundamental laws of physics and mathematics. A living thing may grow in exactly the same way as a non-living thing because it’s just obeying these fundamental laws.”

Matthew Jarron describing D’Arcy Thompson

In the latest episode of the Genetics Unzipped podcast, we’re exploring the life and work of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson – one of the first scientists to bring together the worlds of mathematics and biology in the quest to understand how living things are built. Dr Kat Arney sat down with the curator of the University of Dundee’s D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, Matthew Jarron, to find out more about this larger than life character…

Genetics Unzipped is the podcast from The Genetics Society. Full transcript, links and references available online at

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