Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science

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Oxford University Press, 2007 - Molecular biologists - 347 pages
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 considersthe lessons he has learnt along the way. The result is both anengagingly eccentric memoir and an insightful compendiumof lessons in life for aspiring scientists. 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amarcobio - LibraryThing

I enjoyed reading the first half of the book, and I struggled to go through the second half. In any case, it was a good read, and the advices at the end of every chapter are sometimes useful. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fsmichaels - LibraryThing

Loved the title of this book and was excited to pick it up, having read other memoirs of scientists (Richard Feynman, memorably). Found though that this book didn't resonate. Liked the idea of the ... Read full review

Contents

1 MANNERS ACQUIRED AS A CHILD
3
2 MANNERS LEARNED WHILE AN UNDERGRADUATE
21
3 MANNERS PICKED UP IN GRADUATE SCHOOL
38
4 MANNERS FOLLOWED BY THE PHAGE GROUP
55
5 MANNERS PASSED ON TO AN ASPIRING YOUNG SCIENTIST
72
6 MANNERS NEEDED FOR IMPORTANT SCIENCE
94
7 MANNERS PRACTICED AS AN UNTENURED PROFESSOR
118
8 MANNERS DEPLOYED FOR ACADEMIC ZING
136
11 MANNERS DEMANDED BY ACADEMIC INEPTITUDE
195
12 MANNERS BEHIND READABLE BOOKS
213
13 MANNERS REQUIRED FOR ACADEMIC CIVILITY
240
14 MANNERS FOR HOLDING DOWN TWO JOBS
259
15 MANNERS MAINTAINED WHEN RELUCTANTLY LEAVING HARVARD
286
EPILOGUE
316
CAST OF CHARACTERS
329
REMEMBERED LESSONS
343

9 MANNERS NOTICED AS A DISPENSABLE WHITE HOUSE ADVISER
155
10 MANNERS APPROPRIATE FOR A NOBEL PRIZE
173

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About the author (2007)

In 1953, while working at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helical structure of DNA. For their discovery they were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Maurice Wilkins. Watson was appointed to the faculty at Harvard University in 1956. In 1968, while retaining his position at Harvard, he became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). In 1988 he was appointed asassociate director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) to help launch the Human Genome Program. A year later he became the first director of the National Center for Human Genome Research at theNIH. Watson was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1997, and is today Chancellor of CSHL.

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