Click to have a closer look
About this book
About this book
Explores a wide-range of scientific and personal topics with great insight and lucidity, with anecdotes about Pauling, Meitner, Krebs and Jacob, among others. The expanded paperback edition contains nine additional essays.
Section 1 Ploughshares into swords: friend or foe of mankind?; splitting the atom; the man who patented the bomb; why did the Germans not make the bomb?; bomb designer turned dissident; liberating France; enemy alien; the threat of biological weapons. Section 2 How to make discoveries: high on science; deconstructing Pasteur; the battle over vitamin C; a mystery of the tropics; the forgotten plague; what holds molecules together?; I wish I'd made you angry earlier; big fleas have little fleas...; how the secret of life was discovered; dangerous misprints; a deadly inheritance; Darwin was right; a passion for crystals; the top designer; the great sage; it ain't necessarily so. Section 3 Photo gallery. Section 4 Rights and wrongs: by what right do we invoke human rights? Section 5 The right to choose swords into ploughshares - does nuclear energy endanger us?; what if? Section 6 More about discoveries: the second secret of life; how W.L. Bragg invented X-ray analysis; life's energy cycle; the hormone that makes nerves grow; how nerves conduct electricity; in pursuit of peace and protein; Keilin and athe molteno; growing up amongst the elements; friendly way to science; the scientific and human legacy of Max Perutz (1914-2002 by Sir John Meurig Thomas. My commonplace book.
Perutz's extraordinary historical grasp and the breadth of his personal experience and cultural perspective give his reviews an interest that often transcends that of the books themselves. He brings luminously to life such figures as Fritz Haber, Lise Meitner and Leo Szilard. He writes with wonderfully lucid precision about science and offers also a fine polemic, first read to the American Philosophical Society, on the meaning of freedom... This is a wholly captivating book; it has warmth, wit and style, and not a dull sentence. I urge you to read, enjoy and learn. Nature The essays are beautifully written, with flashes of wit and humor. Many of the essays were written for the New York Review of Books; anyone addicted to that journal, as I am, will at once get a feel for the style of these essays. I read this as a bedtime book, so I dipped into it at random. When I finally found that there was no more to read, I felt quite disappointed - no more chocolates in the box!" Nature Medicine