In the years following his and Francis Crick’s towering discovery of DNA, James Watson was obsessed with finding two things: RNA and a wife. Genes, Girls, and Gamow is the marvelous chronicle of those pursuits. Watson effortlessly glides between his heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious debacles in the field of love and his heady inquiries in the field of science. He also reflects with touching candor on some of science’s other titans, from fellow Nobelists Linus Pauling and the incorrigible Richard Feynman to Russian physicist George Gamow, who loved whiskey, limericks, and card tricks as much as he did molecules and genes. What emerges is a refreshingly human portrait of a group of geniuses and a candid, often surprising account of how science is done.
About the Author
James D. Watson was Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from 1968 to 1993 and is now its President. He spent his undergraduate years at the University of Chicago and received his Ph.D. in 1950 from Indiana University. Between 1950 and 1953, he did postdoctoral research in Copenhagen and Cambridge, England. While at Cambridge, he began the collaboration that resulted in the elucidation of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953. Later in1953, he went to the California Institute of Technology. He moved to Harvard in 1955, where he taught and did research on RNA synthesis and protein synthesis until 1976. He was the first Director of the National Center for Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Watson was sole author of the first, second, and third editions of "Molecular Biology of the Gene," and a co-author of the fourth edition. These were published in 1965, 1970, 1976, and 1987 respectively. Watson has also been involved in two other textbooks: he was one of the original authors of "Molecular Biology of the Cell" and is also an author of "Recombinant DNA: a short course.
“A priceless glimpse into the intellectual circle that nurtured [Watson’s] revolutionary paradigm.” –The New York Times Book Review
“A fun-filled saga that substitutes Mercedes roadsters and molecular biology for the fear and loathing of gonzo master Hunter S. Thompson.” –San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“There are scores of wonderful tidbits. . . . To his credit, Watson never spares himself.” –The Washington Post Book World
“Bring[s] to life the amazing brain trust . . . that included American chemist Linus Pauling, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman and Russian-born theoretical physicist George 'Geo' Gamow.” –Chicago Tribune
“An essential coda to The Double Helix.” –The Boston Globe