The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

3.87 avg rating
( 12,588 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9781455884667: The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only twenty-four, a brilliant young zoologist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science’s greatest unsolved mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.

With humility unspoiled by false modesty, Watson relates his and Crick’s desperate efforts to beat Linus Pauling to the Holy Grail of the life sciences, the identification of the basic building block of life. He is impressed by the achievements of the young man he was, but clear-eyed about his limitations. Never has such a brilliant scientist also been so gifted, and so truthful, in capturing in words the flavor of his work.

“He has described admirably how it feels to have that frightening and beautiful experience of making a great scientific discovery.” ?Richard Feynman

“Like nothing else in literature, it gives one the feel of how creative science really happens.” ?C. P. Snow

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

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:

James D. Watson was born in Chicago in 1928. After graduation from the University of Chicago, he worked in genetics at Indiana University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1950. He spent a year at the University of Copenhagen, followed by two years at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University, England. There he met Francis Crick, and the collaboration resulted in their 1953 proposal of a structure for DNA. After a two-year period at Cal Tech, he joined the faculty at Harvard, where he remained as professor of biochemistry and molecular biology until 1976. In 1962, together with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, Dr. Watson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 39.97
US$ 92.49

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 7.70
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Watson, James D.
Published by Brilliance Audio Lib Edn (2012)
ISBN 10: 1455884669 ISBN 13: 9781455884667
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Brilliance Audio Lib Edn, 2012. Compact Disc. Book Condition: Brand New. mp3 una edition. 7.50x5.30x0.60 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 1455884669

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 92.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.70
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds