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How to Win the Nobel Prize

How to Win the Nobel Prize

An Unexpected Life in Science

J. Michael Bishop

ISBN 9780674016255

Publication date: 10/25/2004

In 1989 Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery that normal genes under certain conditions can cause cancer. In this book, Bishop tells us how he and Varmus made their momentous discovery. More than a lively account of the making of a brilliant scientist, How to Win the Nobel Prize is also a broader narrative combining two major and intertwined strands of medical history: the long and ongoing struggles to control infectious diseases and to find and attack the causes of cancer.

Alongside his own story, that of a youthful humanist evolving into an ambivalent medical student, an accidental microbiologist, and finally a world-class researcher, Bishop gives us a fast-paced and engrossing tale of the microbe hunters. It is a narrative enlivened by vivid anecdotes about our deadliest microbial enemies--the Black Death, cholera, syphilis, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, HIV--and by biographical sketches of the scientists who led the fight against these scourges.

Bishop then provides an introduction for nonscientists to the molecular underpinnings of cancer and concludes with an analysis of many of today's most important science-related controversies--ranging from stem cell research to the attack on evolution to scientific misconduct. How to Win the Nobel Prize affords us the pleasure of hearing about science from a brilliant practitioner who is a humanist at heart. Bishop's perspective will be valued by anyone interested in biomedical research and in the past, present, and future of the battle against cancer.

Praise

  • J. Michael Bishop has written his book 'to show that scientists are supremely human.' The book is also a lucid explanation of how science has been harnessed to fight the human afflictions of cancer and infectious disease. And the story ends with a wide-ranging overview of today's challenges to the scientific enterprise. Overall, a must-read for all those interested in science and scientists--even those with absolutely no interest in winning a Nobel Prize!

    —Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences

Author

  • J. Michael Bishop, M.D., is Chancellor, University of California, San Francisco.

Book Details

  • 288 pages
  • 0-5/8 x 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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