Sharing things

3.4 Claire and Rowland - listen now

Guests Claire Askew and Rowland Kao chat about vintage stuff, lost meanings and viral transmission.

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Transcript for 3.4 Claire and Rowland

About our guests

Claire and Rowland
Claire (photo credit: Dominic Stevenson) and Rowland.

Claire Askew

Chosen object: t-shirt with the cover of the Rolling Stones' single 'It's All Over Now'

Recording location: Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Claire is an award-winning poet and novelist. Her debut novel, 'All the Hidden Truths', featuring the character DI Birch, won the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress, and was selected as a Times Crime Book of the Month. The second novel in the DI Birch series, 'What You Pay For' was published in August 2019 and the latest, 'Cover Your Tracks', came out this summer. 

'This changes things', Claire's debut poetry collection, was shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and a Saltire First Book Award in 2016. She is involved with women's writing initiatives Write Like A Grrrl! and #GrrrlCon. Her writing guide, 'Novelista: Anyone can write a novel. Yes, even you.' was released in October 2020.

Claire grew up in the rural Scottish borders and has lived in Edinburgh since 2004. In this time she has earned three degrees from the University of Edinburgh, including a PhD in Creative Writing. 

Writing aside, Claire also runs an online vintage store specialising in jewellery, collectables and small antiques.

Claire's profile at the Scottish Poetry Library website

Claire's profile at Curtis Brown

Follow Claire on Twitter @OneNightStanzas

'Novelista' at Foyles the booksellers

Rowland Kao

Claire wearing her Rolling Stones t-shirt and Rowlan's gold coins
Claire's treasured t-shirt and Rowland's gold luck charms

Chosen object: gold luck charms gifted by his grandmother

Recording location: Torphichen, West Lothian

Rowland is Chair of Veterinary Epidemiology and Data Science at the Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh. He is a member of the Science Advisory Council at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and is working with Public Health Scotland on coronavirus modelling.

A mathematical biologist, Rowland studies infectious disease dynamics, mainly with respect to the role of demography in the spread and persistence of livestock diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis. 

He is also interested in the development of real-time parameter estimation techniques during the course of disease outbreaks. This research integrates demographic and spatial or geographic data for all large livestock and poultry in the UK, detailed information regarding the movements of livestock amongst agricultural premises and molecular epidemiology.  

He is a graduate of the universities of Guelph and Toronto.

Rowland's staff profile

Meet our scientists: Roslin Institute interview with Rowland

Follow Rowland on Twitter @RowlandKao

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Host: Richenda Rae

Theme music: Nathan Webb

Producer: Kate Stewart