Inspiring Science: Jim Watson and the Age of DNA
For James D. Watson, the year 2003 was momentous: The 50th anniversary of the discovery, with Francis Crick, of the DNA double helix; the 35th ... Show synopsis For James D. Watson, the year 2003 was momentous: The 50th anniversary of the discovery, with Francis Crick, of the DNA double helix; the 35th anniversary of the publication of his best-selling memoir of the discovery, The Double Helix; the 35th anniversary of his appointment as Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an institution he molded into a research and education center of international renown and prestige: and the year in which the sequencing of the human genome was completed, a project of unprecedented international effort and coordination that Watson got off the ground and sustained during its first, critical years. In the course of his 75 years, Watson has achieved a reputation as outspoken, capricious, abrasive, and ruthless in pursuing his visionary goals. Few other scientists have achieved his celebrity status, or enjoyed it so much, without losing professional credibility. Yet behind the public notoriety there is a complexity apparent only to those who know Watson as a colleague, mentor, inspiration, and friend. This book gives voice to 43 of these individuals-people of distinction who have worked with Watson as a scientist, educator, author, administrator, and government official. Their essays cover much of his scientific life and, taken together, create a portrait of a complex man whose originality and force of will have produced extraordinary achievements.