The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 1994 - Science - 522 pages
One of the most dramatic events in the history of science was the discovery in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick of the molecular structure of DNA. In this lively, perceptive and scholarly study, a noted historian of science provides the first full in-depth account of how this scientific milestone was reached. Combining scientific and historial approaches, Professor Olby (University of Pittsburgh) vividly captures the excitement of conceptualization and the evolution of ideas that led to the discovery of the genetic "secret of life." The story unfolds along several major lines: long-chain macromolecules; nucleic acids; bacterial transformations; the intellectual evolution of physicists, chemists and biologists (including Watson and Crick); and the combination of scientific disciplines that unlocked the structural secrets of DNA. Abundantly illustrated, this superb retelling of one of the greatest scientific detective stories offers stimulating and thought-provoking reading. Now available for the first time in paperback, it belongs in the library of anyone interested in how brilliant science and dogged determination led to one of the most crucial discoveries of the 20th century. -- from back cover.

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About the author (1994)

Robert Olby is Research Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. A historian of 19th- and 20th-century biology, he specializes in genetics and molecular biology. This book is considered a classic and was strongly endorsed by Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA and author of our Foreword.

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