A Humble and Shallow Review of The Double Helix

Topics: DNA, James D. Watson, Francis Crick Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: April 18, 2012

A Humble and Shallow Review of The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D Watson

As a piece of book review as regards the book The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, written by James D. Walter in an autobiographic tone, this paper aims at offering a preliminary glimpse of the nature of scientific discovery and the constraints of scientific specialization as well as women’s role in science. Just like James Watson said, no two people ever see the same event in exactly the same light, on the basis of which the author of this paper humbly puts forward his own point of view on this extraordinary book but for sharing his ideas. The related points concerning such three respects will be elaborated beneath.

The Double Helix, universally acknowledged as a highly personal view of scientific work, appeals to a wide readership on account of two reasons, one of which is that it is not laden with a pack of scientific details that barely borders on incomprehension, the other that it is very controversial. During the disentangling of the structure of DNA, a great deal of what used to be kept in the dark such as surreptitious peeks at other scientists’ data, withheld information and gloating over a competitor making a public blunder were brought into light by Watson’s objectively reporting manner, which highlights the principal merits of such a renowned book. Of equal importance is the fact that the book relates the intense competition surrounding the discovery of structure of DNA and Watson’s trial and error of trying to unravel the nature of life. "Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders. Instead, its steps forward (and sometimes backward) are often very human events in which personalities and cultural traditions play major roles.”(Watson, P.3). From this perspective are my points of view deduced. Put it another way, the personalities of the...
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