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Author: Francis Crick
ISBN13: 978-0140119732
Title: What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery
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ePUB size: 1396 kb
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Language: English
Category: Evolution
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New Ed edition (April 26, 1990)
Pages: 208

What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery by Francis Crick

What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery is a book published in 1988 and written by Francis Crick, the English co-discoverer in 1953 of the structure of DNA. In this book, Crick gives important insights into his work on the DNA structure, along with the Central Dogma of molecular biology and the genetic code, and his later work on neuroscience.

Candid, provocative, and disarming, this is often the widely-praised memoir of the co-discoverer of the double helix of DNA. Show description. Nonlinear Computer Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Data

Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them. 1. Philosophy of Physics, 2 volume set. Jeremy Butterfield, John Earman, Dov M. Gabbay, Paul Thagard, John Woods.

nl/download/What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery by Francis Crick.

The autobiography of Francis Crick (1988), What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery, ISBN 0-465-09137-7. A movie of the same name. A play of the same name. The main purpose of Crick's book is to describe some of his experiences before and during the "classical period" of molecular biology from the 1953 discovery of the DNA double helix to the 1966 elucidation of the genetic code

Home Browse Books Book details, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific. What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery. Lively and entertaining, this memoir details Crick's early beginnings; his involvement in the discovery of DNA; how the story of DNA made it to the television screen; Crick's work in unraveling the genetic code; and his present involvement in neurobiology at the Salk Institute, where he has been affiliated since 1976. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, In. Portland, OR (booknews. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has for many years had an interest in encouraging public understanding of science. Science in this century has become a complex endeavor.

For instance, the discovery by Watson and Crick of the structure of our genetic material was based on the construction of a physical model comprised of little metal sheets. The Watson and Crick model facilitated the scientific dis- covery process without looking to accurately mimic biological reality; rather, it employed a suitably defined abstraction.

What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (Sloan Foundation Science). 0465091385 (ISBN13: 9780465091386). This little book, an intellectual biography of one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, is a revealing look at the "road to the double helix" as well as an update on what Crick did professionally after moving out of molecular biology

Reviews: 7
Crick caught me off-guard in the first few pages: Why is he so abstracted when describing his personal background and the wondrous discoveries that made his life an enduring exemplar of scientific discovery during the explosive intellectual aftermath of World War II? And why did I find his sideways verbal constructions so absurd that I'd giggle at them?
Because the man was one of the driest wits that dry-wit England ever produced. After I latched on to this (obvious) truth, his gentle yet needle-sharp jabs at his contemporaries, both friend and too-uninformed-to-be-foe, left me howling with glee through to the last page.
So that's the style, but it's not what the book is or is about. It's perhaps the closest, most caring look at how both experimental and theoretical science is done in the real world. He set out to provide illumination and education, rather than glittering hyperbole, and he succeeded, with a personal yet, as much as possible, objective account of the mechanisms of discovery. My only quibble is his failure now and then to explain a term that must seem obvious to him but sent me online to clarify.
Crick spares neither his cohorts nor himself the careful delineation of the failures and blunders he and they stumbled over on the road to greater success. Or the help received from dumb luck and gratuitous timing.
You meet the giants of modern biology and chemistry, some well-know (Linus Pauling, George Gamow and, of course, James Watson), some familiar only within or around their own disciplines (Rosalind Franklin, Sydney Brenner); you greet them in their personal lairs as well as the lab.
Crick comes across as a firm believer in all areas of scholarly pursuit, but without blinders when kicking the shams and misdirections that litter the intellectual highway.
I wish I could have met this man.
Sermak Light
Dr Crick is a puzzlement. This book is very good in it's technical content, but he strays in chap 3 and 13, seeking to find some resolution between Devine Design and his biology expertise.
He wants to prove his creative thoughts are his.
His later years in chap 14.
His later book in 1994, says much the same with a lighter tone, IMO.
Still all have a world of information.
I have been intrigued with Francis Crick after reading James Watson's "The Double Helix." Crick, with his non-stop talk and his booming laugh stepped out of those pages as a very unique personality as well as a unique scientist. Crick almost seems to have emerged a full-blown scientist like Athena from the head of Zeus. He was incredibly knowledgeable even as a somewhat elderly (over thirty) graduate student. In "Mad Pursuit" Dr. Crick takes your thumb and firmly imbeds it into the scientific pie In order to understand the background necessary to fathom the depths of the physical and three dimensional aspect of DNA, an understanding of crystal diffraction is necessary. Crick makes sure you're with him as he explains.

The atoms of a crystal cause an X ray beam to diffract into many specific directions, creating "spots." The resulting pattern can tell the expert the atoms present in that particular molecule and how they are arranged. DNA is relatively simple with the four bases, adenine paired with thymine, cytosine with guanine. Whatever the sequence on one helix strand, the other has to have the complementary sequence: always C with G and A with T. Crick says the relatively simple arrangement of only four bases was necessary for life to get established in the new universe, the simpler the better for achieving success.

The chapter called "How to live with a Golden Helix" is my favorite as Crick puts his spin on the famous events surrounding the phenomenal break through. He says that it it is DNA itself, not the scientists who are glamorous, although one could argue this point. Perhaps the crux of the discussion is Crick's take on Rosalind Franklin and the feud between her and Maurice Wilkins at King's College, London. Crick's "What mad Pursuit" was published in 1988 and in the years since, Franklin, even though deceased, has become famous in her own right. Crick remarks that Rosalind did not have the panache of Linus Pauling, which is certainly true. Very few scientists have Pauling's showmanship. But Crick remarks that he and Watson at Cambridge worked harmoniously together, while workers at King's did not. Franklin apparently thought Wilson considered her his assistant and rebelled. Crick, however, does not make the salient point that Wilkins showed Watson one of Franklin's Xray diffraction pictures-the now famous #51- which he borrowed without Franklin's knowledge or permission. The wily Watson took one look at the diffraction pattern and knew at once that the B form of DNA was a double helix. Crick says that Franklin was very, very close to solving the mystery herself, only two steps away.

"What mad pursuit" is a quotation from Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn."Crick describes the red herrings, sloppy science, unsound, unproven ideas and fiascoes that confront the research scientist. He also describes the flights of sheer brilliance and courage that accompany any scientific discovery. His book is part memoir part genetics 101 as he takes you on his journeys into the depths pure science. He talks about natural selection, and the genetic code and as a Professor at the Salk Institute his then current studies of neuroanatomy, brain science.

The text is accompanied by really wonderful photographs of many of the major players on his stage. You'll see Linus Pauling with his molecule models, looking like the conjuror he was, Wilkins, Watson and other famous investigators, his wife Odile and his mother for whom Crick is a dead ringer. One wishes the modest Crick had talked more about his personal life, but the impression he gives is that of a charming extrovert who just happened to be a great scientist.