Ordinary Geniuses

Ordinary Geniuses

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A biography of two maverick scientists whose intellectual wanderlust kick-started modern genomics and cosmology. Max Delbruck and George Gamow, the so-called ordinary geniuses of Segre's third book, were not as famous or as decorated as some of their colleagues in midtwentieth-century physics, yet these two friends had a profound influence on how we now see the world, both on its largest scale (the universe) and its smallest (genetic code). Their maverick approach to research resulted in truly pioneering science. Wherever these men ventured, they were catalysts for great discoveries. Here Segre honors them in his typically inviting and elegant style and shows readers how they were far from qordinaryq. While portraying their personal lives Segre, a scientist himself, gives readers an inside look at how science is done--collaboration, competition, the influence of politics, the role of intuition and luck, and the sense of wonder and curiosity that fuels these extraordinary minds. Ordinary Geniuses will appeal to the readers of Simon Singh, Amir Aczel, and other writers exploring the history of scientific ideas and the people behind them.Working on the structure of nuclein together with students, Miescher isolated what we today call deoxyribonucleic acid. ... He believed instead that R bacteria had always possessed the ability to grow capsules but had been unable to do so until they had been ... a few scientists followed it up, even achieving in a test tube the same pneumonia bacteria transformation that had previously been seen in mice.

Title:Ordinary Geniuses
Author:Gino Segre
Publisher:Penguin - 2011-08-18


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