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

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

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London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989. First U.K Edition. Hardcover. ix, 182 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations, portraits; 24 cm. In very good condition with original price clipped dust jacket, firm binding, clean pages, and free of markings.


Francis Crick's place m history was assured when he and James Watson unraveled the celebrated double helix of DNA. Their discovery of the structure of the genetic material of virtually all life on earth is regarded as the greatest biological advance of the twentieth century. In What Mad Pursuit, Crick gives his own long-awaited account of the unique combination of choice and chance behind this epoch-making discovery, and how it, in turn, led to the cracking of the genetic code and the launching of the molecular biological revolution.

What Mad Pursuit takes its title from 'Ode to a Grecian Urn', the poem in which Keats insists that 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'. Here, in ebullient style, Crick explores the more complex relationships between truth and beauty that he has found in everything from the roles of experiment and theory in science to the popular book, television and film versions of the double helix story. 'Elegance and a deep simplicity', he writes, 'are useful guides in physics. In biology, such intellectual tools can be very misleading.' Crick goes on to describe how, today, he is applying the lessons of his pioneering discoveries in molecular biology to his latest pursuit of 'scientific gold' -understanding the mysteries of the brain.

Francis Crick is the Kieckhefer Professor at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. He shared a Nobel Prize with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins in 1962 for the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

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