“The problem in biology is how you make an organism” – Paul Nurse

This one still seems relevant because Paul Nurse – now Sir Paul, a Nobel award, Presidency of the Royal Society, and other notable jobs later – is still a power in the land, scientifically, as head of the huge (and risky) Crick Institute in London. This profile of him was done before any of that […]

A feminist take on molecular biology: Impartial Science – Bonnie Spanier

Feminist science studies was unfailingly interesting in the 1980s and 1990s, though sometimes promised more than it delivered…. Molecular biology is one of the hard cases for a would-be science critic. The approaches, tools and techniques of the molecular biologists, which mainly means the molecular geneticists, are so far in the ascendant in the life […]

James Watson, writer

A bit of a gap since the last post here, but still after Francis Crick my thoughts turn to James Watson, the surviving member of the dynamic duo. So here’s a review of a book about him, not a biography as such, but a reflection on Watson the writer, his interesting (to me, especially) parallel […]

Francis Crick: the full biography

I posted an interview with Francis Crick a little while back. Crick was so productive for so long, he made a daunting subject. Here’s my take on the more or less official biography, which – impressively – was published five years after he died. The individual scientific biography seems an increasingly outmoded exercise. Science today […]