The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (Norton Critical Editions)

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9780393950755: The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (Norton Critical Editions)
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Since its publication in 1968, The Double Helix has given countless readers a rare and exciting look at one highly significant piece of scientific research―Watson and Crick's race to discover the molecular structure of DNA. In this Norton Critical Edition, Watson's lively and irreverent account is placed in historical perspective by Gunther Stent's introduction and by retrospective views from two major figures in the adventure, Francis Crick and Linus Pauling, and by Rosalind Franklin's last student, Aaron Klug.

Background materials include reproductions of the original scientific papers in which the double helical structure of DNA was first presented in 1953 and 1954.

In Criticism, which begins with "A Review of the Reviews" by Gunther Stent, other scientists and scholars reveal their own experiences and views of Watson's story. There are reviews by Philip Morrison, F. X. S., Richard C. Lewontin, Mary Ellmann, Robert L. Sinsheimer, John Lear, Alex Comfort, Jacob Bronowski, Conrad H. Waddington, Robert K. Merton, Peter M. Medawar, and André Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson.

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Review:

"Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders," writes James Watson in The Double Helix, his account of his codiscovery (along with Francis Crick) of the structure of DNA. Watson and Crick won Nobel Prizes for their work, and their names are memorized by biology students around the world. But as in all of history, the real story behind the deceptively simple outcome was messy, intense, and sometimes truly hilarious. To preserve the "real" story for the world, James Watson attempted to record his first impressions as soon after the events of 1951-1953 as possible, with all their unpleasant realities and "spirit of adventure" intact.

Watson holds nothing back when revealing the petty sniping and backbiting among his colleagues, while acknowledging that he himself was a willing participant in the melodrama. In particular, Watson reveals his mixed feelings about his famous colleague in discovery, Francis Crick, who many thought of as an arrogant man who talked too much, and whose brilliance was appreciated by few. This is the joy of The Double Helix--instead of a chronicle of stainless-steel heroes toiling away in their sparkling labs, Watson's chronicle gives readers an idea of what living science is like, warts and all. The Double Helix is a startling window into the scientific method, full of insight and wit, and packed with the kind of science anecdotes that are told and retold in the halls of universities and laboratories everywhere. It's the stuff of legends. --Therese Littleton

About the Author:

Gunther S. Stent was Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was the author of Molecular Biology of Bacterial Viruses, Papers in Bacterial Viruses, Molecular Genetics, and Paradoxes of Progress, and the editor of Function and Formation of Neural Systems and Morality as a Biological Phenomenon.

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 1981. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Background materials include reproductions of the original scientific papers in which the double helical structure of DNA was first presented in 1953 and 1954. In Criticism, which begins with A Review of the Reviews by Gunther Stent, other scientists and scholars reveal their own experiences and views of Watson s story. There are reviews by Philip Morrison, F. X. S., Richard C. Lewontin, Mary Ellmann, Robert L. Sinsheimer, John Lear, Alex Comfort, Jacob Bronowski, Conrad H. Waddington, Robert K. Merton, Peter M. Medawar, and Andre Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson. Seller Inventory # AAC9780393950755

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 1981. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Background materials include reproductions of the original scientific papers in which the double helical structure of DNA was first presented in 1953 and 1954. In Criticism, which begins with A Review of the Reviews by Gunther Stent, other scientists and scholars reveal their own experiences and views of Watson s story. There are reviews by Philip Morrison, F. X. S., Richard C. Lewontin, Mary Ellmann, Robert L. Sinsheimer, John Lear, Alex Comfort, Jacob Bronowski, Conrad H. Waddington, Robert K. Merton, Peter M. Medawar, and Andre Lwoff; as well as three letters to the editor of Science by Max F. Perutz, M. H. F. Wilkins, and James D. Watson. Seller Inventory # AAC9780393950755

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