How did this book change/meet your expectation of the way a great discovery is made?
The discovery of the double helix was one of the greatest scientific acomplishments of the 20th century. The process the sciencentist followed in their discovery was suprising in several ways. Contrary to my expectations, the discovery was not made by a pair of sciencetist working on their own, but instead it was a colaboration of many scientist working together and guiding each other to the solution. I was astounded when I read that Watson's educational background had nothing to do with the anything involing DNA. The most suprising of my inccurate expectations was the normality of scientist sharing their data and ideas. Watson description of the process changed my idea about what the discovery was like and how science in general works.
I expected that one of the most important men involved in the discovery of DNA's double helix structure would have had an extremely strong background in chemistry, biology, or genetics.
I was amazed when James wrote about his major in college, Zoology. Watson had to learn everything he learned about all of the above subjects by talking to fellow scientist and reading. Watson had no formal education in any field related to anything that would help him discover the double helix structure, and yet he was able to accomplish all that he did.
I remeber as a freshman learning that the double helix structure of DNA was discovered by Watson and Crick. I pictured two scientist locking themselves in their labratory and working for years alone until they completed the structure. I learned from The Double Helix that this perception was very wrong. Watson spent many years working with many people on all the subjects that dealt with how the discovery could...