James D. Watson looks back on his extraordinary and varied career - from its beginnings as a schoolboy in Chicago's South Side to the day he left Harvard almost 50 years later, world-renowned as the co-discoverer of DNA - and considers the lessons he has learnt along the way. The result is both an engagingly eccentric memoir and an insightful compendium of lessons in life for aspiring scientists. Watson's 'manners' range from those he learnt bird-watching with his father during the Great Depression ('Avoid fighting bigger boys and dogs' and 'Find a young hero to emulate') to the manners appropriate for a Nobel Prize ('Have friends close to those who rule'). He evokes his time as a graduate student in the 1940s ('Hire spunky lab helpers'); the excitement of working in DNA for the first time as well as having his first dates; his time working as a White House advisor; and at Harvard in the '70s. Avoid Boring People is a quirky, original, wise, and infuriatingly un-put-downable blend of candid anecdotes and revealing insights into the life of one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century.
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(196mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - James D. Watson
In 1953, while working at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helical structure of DNA. For their discovery they were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Maurice Wilkins. Watson was appointed to the faculty at Harvard University in 1956. In 1968, while retaining his position at Harvard, he became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). In 1988 he was appointed as associate director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) to help launch the Human Genome Program. A year later he became the first director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the NIH, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1997. In 2007 Watson retired from the position of Chancellor of CSHL.