Article by Anisa Nazir
Graphic design by Sherry An
The Institute of Medical Science’s (IMS) Raw Talk Podcast marked its 100th episode milestone by celebrating another anniversary—one hundred years since the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best at the University of Toronto (U of T).1,2 Over the past century, this lifesaving Nobel prize-winning discovery established U of T as a world leader in diabetes research and led to significant advancements in healthcare research.
The episode “100 Years Later: Insulin and Beyond” explores the current landscape of diabetes research, treatment accessibility and the global impact of the discovery of insulin.3 It addresses challenges faced by patients and the ongoing need for community education. “One of the points we’re trying to emphasize is that insulin is still unaffordable for many patients around the world, considering how the patent was originally sold for $1,” says Jesse Knight, Raw Talk Co-Executive Producer since Season 5.
IMS alumni Richie Jeremiah and Jabir Mohamed created the graduate student-run podcast in 2016 to capture and learn from the diverse stories and insights of the IMS community. Since its founding, the podcast has expanded its mission to promote the research culture within the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and broader life sciences community; and engage the public in medical science innovations and translational research. “We changed the format to a narrative, and instead of having one or two perspectives, we incorporated multiple. We highlight diverse voices and include not only named researchers, but also students, early-career scientists and patients,” says Grace Jacobs, former Co-Executive Producer and current Show Host and Advisor.
Noor Al Kaabi, Co-Executive Producer, added, “It is putting the science we create into context and how it affects people, communities, society. We’re making a conscious effort to incorporate equity-related topics and ensure representation.”
The Black Lives Matter movement changed the narrative on equity, diversity, and inclusion. There is a shift in how organizations, institutions and groups incorporate these changes in their mandates. “It was a pivotal moment for Raw Talk Podcast and a moment of reflection to see where we lacked in ensuring representation. It led to a change in dynamics within the team and taking concrete actions,” says Knight. The team has created new processes to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion in selecting topics and speakers, mandated anti-racism training for its members and introduced an ombudsperson to help with sensitive topics.
Raw Talk has come a long way since its first episode. Now in its 6th Season, the show has over 70,000 downloads globally and includes 40+ team members from across Temerty Medicine and beyond. Some exciting upcoming episode topics include burnout in healthcare providers, health in prisons, and underrepresented voices in STEM.
- Raw Talk Podcast [Internet]. Available from: https://www.rawtalkpodcast.com/index
- Insulin 100 – Celebrating a Century of Health Innovation at the University of Toronto [Internet]. The university of Toronto. Available from: https://insulin100.utoronto.ca/
- #100 Years Later: Insulin and Beyond [Internet]. Raw Talk Podcast. Available from: https://www.rawtalkpodcast.com/episode/100