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460 pp., index
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Science is no quiet life. Imagination, creativity, ambition, and conflict are as vital and abundant in science as in artistic endeavors. In this collection of essays, the Nobel Prizewinning protein chemist Max Perutz writes about the pursuit of scientific knowledge, which he sees as an enterprise providing not just new facts but cause for reflection and revelation, as in a poem or painting. Max Perutz's essays explore a remarkable range of scientific topics with the lucidity and precision Perutz brought to his own pioneering work in protein crystallography. He has been hailed as an author who "makes difficult subjects intelligible and writes with the warmth, humanity, and broad culture which has always characterized the great men of science." Of his previous collection of essays, a reviewer said "They turn the world of science and medicine into a marvelous land of adventure which I was thrilled to explore in the company of this wise and human [writer]." Readers of this volume can journey to the same land, with the same delight. Max Perutz (19142002) was a brilliant scientist, a visionary of molecular biology, and a writer of elegant essays infused with humanity and wisdom. This expanded paperback edition of his very successful book I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier contains nine additional essays, and a warmly evocative portrait of Max by his friend and professional colleague Sir John Meurig Thomas.
(of the expanded paperback edition) (*indicates new essay) Preface Acknowledgements
The Scientific and Humane Legacy of Max Perutz (19142002) by Sir John Meurig Thomas*
My Commonplace Book Notes and References Subject Index
The following reviews were of the hardcover edition
"Perutz's extraordinary historical grasp and the breadth of his personal experience and cultural perspective give his reviews an interest that often transcends that of the books themselves. He brings luminously to life such figures as Fritz Haber, Lise Meitner and Leo Szilard. He writes with wonderfully lucid precision about science and offers also a fine polemic, first read to the American Philosophical Society, on the meaning of freedom
. This is a wholly captivating book; it has warmth, wit and style, and not a dull sentence. I urge you to read, enjoy and learn."
"The essays are beautifully written, with flashes of wit and humor. Many of the essays were written for the New York Review of Books; anyone addicted to that journal, as I am, will at once get a feel for the style of these essays. I read this as a bedtime book, so I dipped into it at random. When I finally found that there was no more to read, I felt quite disappointed no more chocolates in the box!"
"Allusions to literary and classical characters abound in Perutz's essays and bear witness to his status as a true Renaissance man. In this collection creativity is only one of numerous scientific themes that are discussed with the same lucidity and precision that characterize Perutz's pioneering work on crystallography
. According to Nobel Laureate Peter Medawar (physiology or medicine, 1960), one of the many scientists profiled in this book, science at all levels of endeavour is a passionate enterprise and the pursuit of natural knowledge a sortie into the unknown. Perutz's book, which we heartily recommend to scientist and nonscientist alike, will convince its readers of the truth of this statement."
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