503 pages, B/w illus
A celebration of Watson's achievements, with 43 essays by friends and colleagues covering much of his scientific life. Few scientists have had a greater capacity to make their disciplines so exciting to outsiders.
History-making scientist of international fame, successful manager of one of the best biological think-tanks, standard-setting textbook author, popularizer and public advocate of science, government advisor: Jim of all trades" be his nom de guerre. Inspiring Science brings us closer to a seemingly larger-than-life man whose long shadow will be cast far into the twenty-first century. Without him, someone else would sooner or later have solved the mystery that half a century ago surrounded DNA. But there is no doubt that Watson had a profound effect on the development of molecular biology in the second half of the twentieth century. He is one of the truly powerful puppeteers of the scientific world, pulling the strings on which the rest of us dangle and dance. Inspiring Science reveals that behind the awe-inspiring public image is a human being with the usual set of strengths and weaknesses, qualifications and shortcomings. Inspiring Science will be not so much remembered for its literary accomplishments as it will be cherished by historians and psychologists as a precious time capsule laying bare the mechanics of science at the end of the twentieth century. Inspiring Science is inspiring reading." --Nature Medicine "The purpose of Inspiring Science, the editors write, 'is not to reconstruct an academic history or an authoritative biography, but to record friendship and appreciation.' ... The editors are to be congratulated on compiling and organizing such a readable and informative set of recollections that will serve very effectively the role they intended." --Nature "That the volume is such a good read probably reflects the capabilities of Watson's friends as well as the efforts of the three editors. From the excellent foreword by Matt Ridley to the final explanatory notes on puzzling details (including descriptions of quiz kids, Delbruck's principle of limited sloppiness, and Benzer's lunchtime diet of crocodile tail), Inspiring Science is a delight, a ride in a convertible through history. The editors deserve accolades for their excellent selections and documentation. Watson himself deserves credit for doing such important work with such panache." --Science
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