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Biology and bile

The eminent geneticist Steve Jones considers one of the great thrillers of modern science and places it in its social and scientific context

By Steve Jones   March 1997

Science, in the public mind, is detached from the people who practise it. Everyone knows about viruses, or the background radiation of the big bang, but almost nobody could name the individuals who discovered them. DNA is different and this book is the reason why. From its first sentence (“I have never seen Francis Crick in a modest mood”) it combines the facts of science with the rattling tale of how they were unveiled. To re-read it after nearly 30 years, is to affirm the genius of those who did the job. It is also a reminder of how much…

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