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James Watson Tells His Story

Eighteen Years Later


James D. Watson publishes a memoir about his role in the discovery of DNA's structure, providing an invaluable first-hand account of the scientific research process.

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
As I hope this book will show, science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders. Instead, its steps forward (and sometimes backward) are often very human events in which personalities and cultural traditions play major roles.

Watson, J.D. (1969). New York: Atheneum.

Popular Book Characteristics
AUDIENCE: General public
AUTHOR: Journalists, professional writers, or sometimes scholars
SELECTION PROCESS: Selected by editors for sales potential
TIMELINESS: Not as current as magazines or journals (although books on current events or scandals are sometimes rush released to capitalize on public interest).
CONTENT: Provides more content than a magazine article, but is still a popularized treatment of a subject. (For example, Watson's book caused some controversy over his negative remarks on Rosalind Franklin's personality — the sort of remarks that wouldn't be found in a scholarly journal article.) Does not usually back up information with footnotes and bibliographies citing other research.

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