The story of the most significant biological breakthrough of the century – the discovery of the structure of DNA.
‘It is a strange model and embodies several unusual features. However, since DNA is an unusual substance, we are not hesitant in being bold’
By elucidating the structure of DNA, the molecule underlying all life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionised biochemistry. At the time, Watson was only 24. His uncompromisingly honest account of those heady days lifts the lid on the real world of great scientists, with their very human faults and foibles, their petty rivalries and driving ambition. Above all, he captures the extraordinary excitement of their desperate efforts to beat their rivals at King’s College to the solution to one of the great enigmas of the life sciences.
James Watson was born in Chicago in 1928. He studied zoology at the University of Chicago, and was awarded his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1950. Between 1950 and 1953 he worked at Copenhagen and Cambridge, where together with Francis Crick he solved the structure of DNA, for which they received a share of the Nobel Prize in 1962. His other publications include The Molecular Biology of the Gene and The Molecular Biology of the Cell. He lives in the USA.
"An exhilarating memoir"
– John Dugdale, Guardian
"This timely reissue of Watso's feisty memoir gives a dramatic account of how the double helix was mapped."
– James Urquhart, Financial Times