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Enrolling to The University of Chicago at 15


Influential books during adolescence
James Watson Scientist
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Microbe Hunters certainly had a big impact on me of, it made the life of a scientist very exciting. There are still people read that book and get excited, because there has never been an equivalent. If I were younger, I would do, you know, Cancer Gene Finders or, you know, there're some great stories and they've never really been written up in a way that 15-year-olds could read them, or 14-year-olds. Well, now, you know, probably the exceptional 11-year-old would read it with...

[Q] And Arrowsmith also influential?

Yes, except, you know, he didn't... he failed. You know, he didn't... the epidemic they didn't cure in the Caribbean or wherever he went, you know. So I... you know, I didn't want to be like Arrowsmith, but you did want to be like Pasteur.

American molecular biologist James Dewey Watson is probably best known for discovering the structure of DNA for which he was jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. His long career has seen him teaching at Harvard and Caltech, and taking over the directorship of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. From 1988 to 1992, James Watson was head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. His current research focuses on the study of cancer.

Listeners: Martin Raff Walter Gratzer

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Walter Gratzer is Emeritus Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at King's College London, and was for most of his research career a member of the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council. He is the author of several books on popular science. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard and has known Jim Watson since that time

Tags: Microbe Hunters, Cancer Gene Finders

Duration: 1 minute, 8 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2008 and October 2009

Date story went live: 18 June 2010