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

Front Cover
Norton, 1980 - Science - 298 pages
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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User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

James Watson's love letter to himself, as he explains to us exactly how he single-handedly solved the structure of DNA, with the insignificant help of a cast of baboons, clowns, and women. Watson's ... Read full review

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

James Watson's love letter to himself, as he explains to us exactly how he single-handedly solved the structure of DNA, with the insignificant help of a cast of baboons, clowns, and women. Watson's ... Read full review

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About the author (1980)

James Dewey Watson James D. Watson was born on April 6, 1928. Watson was an extremely industrious student and entered the University of Chicago when he was only 15. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology four years later, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in the same subject at Indiana University. He was performing research at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, when he first learned of the biomolecular research at the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University in England. Watson joined Francis Crick in this work in 1951. At the age of 25, he and colleague Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the double helix. Watson went on to become a Senior Research Fellow in Biology at the California Institute of Technology, before returning to Cambridge in 1955. The following year he moved to Harvard University, where he became Professor of Biology, a post he held until 1976. Watson and Crick won the 1962 Nobel Laureate in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nuclear acids and its significance for information transfer in living material. In 1968, Watson published his account of the DNA discovery, "The Double Helix." The book became an international best-seller. Watson became the Director and later President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1988 he served as Director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health, a massive project to decipher the entire genetic code of the human species. Watson has received many awards and medals for his work, along with the Nobel Prize, he has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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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