Dr Imogen Wright is a bioinformatician at the University of the Western Cape. She tells Margaret Harris that if thought leaders educated themselves beyond the confines of their expertise, we would have healthier public debate in the world. Tell me about your work. I'd call myself a bioinformatician, a software developer and an entrepreneur in about equal measures. My undergraduate degree was in physics and computer science, and my masters was in theoretical physics. My PhD, though, was in bioinformatics - a new field, described as a mix of biology, computer science and statistics. Now I've founded a company, Hyrax Biosciences, with my former PhD supervisor, Professor Simon Travers, and two other scientists. We build software that enables HIV and TB drug-resistance testing. Where would bioinformaticians typically work? In front of a computer - either in industry or academia. We work closely with biologists, who give us raw data that's too complex to be handled by noncomputational met...

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