Nobel laureate Michael Rosbash’s 5 must-read books about science
Wondering what to read? The winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has some suggestions.
Aug. 29, 2018
He’s read a lot of books about science over the years.
BrandeisNOW asked him to select his favorites suited for a non-scientific audience and why he chose them.
The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
By James Watson
A great book written by a great ego. Judged by the New York Times as one of the 100 best pieces of literature written in the 20th century. (That’s literature, not science books!)
The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology
By Horace Freeland Judson
A history of the remarkable era that built the foundation of DNA research. An unforgettable cast of characters including — but by no means limited to — James Watson and his partner Francis Crick. This obsessed group of scientists, many of them close friends, built the magnificent edifice on which genetics rests.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World
By Michael Pollan
A great read that reveals a surprising relationship between plants and humans. Are we sure that we are the masters and plants do our bidding?
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time
By Jonathan Weiner
A story about a pair of modern-day Darwins, Peter and Rosemary Grant. They are a married couple from Princeton, two professors, who have made studying finches on the Galápagos Islands their life’s work.
The Empire of All Maladies
By Siddhartha Mukherjee
A great book about the history of cancer research, the politics involved and the science behind everything from traditional chemotherapy to more modern approaches. A revealing look at many of the key characters behind the work.