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.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 362
Weight: 371 g
Dimensions: 196 x 129 x 19 mm
Frank, humorous and replete with aphorisms...This is a most enjoyable read, but what Watson's exuberant and candid memoir leaves plenty for science and historians. He satisfies two Watson maxims: be first to tell a good story and avoid boring people. * Chemistry World. *
Review from previous edition ...a deliciously detailed account of his life...Watson remains one of the most fascinating scientists of our time, as iconic in some respects as his double helix. * Nature *
A lively and provocative book. * Financial Times, Books of the Year *
The story is frank, personal, revealing * Peter Lawrence, Literary Review *
...with entertaining revelations...[and] interesting insights and anecdotes... * Financial Times *
...a fascinating story. * The Times *
It's never dull. * The Herald (Glasgow) *
Scientists will find the book most interesting. * Irish Times *