How to Win the Nobel Prize: An Unexpected Life in Science by J. Michael Bishop

By J. Michael Bishop

In 1989 Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus have been provided the Nobel Prize for his or her discovery that ordinary genes below sure stipulations may cause melanoma. during this publication, Bishop tells us how he and Varmus made their momentous discovery. greater than a full of life account of the making of an excellent scientist, how one can Win the Nobel Prize is additionally a broader narrative combining significant and intertwined strands of clinical heritage: the lengthy and ongoing struggles to manage infectious illnesses and to discover and assault the reasons of melanoma. along his personal tale, that of a younger humanist evolving into an ambivalent scientific pupil, an unintentional microbiologist, and at last a world-class researcher, Bishop supplies us a fast paced and engrossing story of the microbe hunters. it's a narrative enlivened through vibrant anecdotes approximately our deadliest microbial enemies--the Black demise, cholera, syphilis, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, HIV--and by means of biographical sketches of the scientists who led the struggle opposed to those scourges. Bishop then presents an creation for nonscientists to the molecular underpinnings of melanoma and concludes with an research of lots of ultra-modern most crucial science-related controversies--ranging from stem mobilephone learn to the assault on evolution to medical misconduct. the way to Win the Nobel Prize presents us the excitement of listening to approximately technology from an excellent practitioner who's a humanist at middle. Bishop's point of view could be valued by means of an individual attracted to biomedical examine and some time past, current, and way forward for the conflict opposed to melanoma.

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If Rosalind Franklin had not died, how would the Nobel committee for the prize in physiology or medicine have met its obligation to choose only three recipients? Would the committee have omitted both Franklin and Wilkins? ) Would Franklin alone have been omitted? ) Might two Nobel committees have divided the spoils? ) Our first chance for answers to these questions may come in the year 2012, when the files for the DNA prize can be opened to public scrutiny. The criterion for selection in the sciences is explicit and strict: the laureate must have made a seminal discovery, preferably embodied in a single publication.

The responsibility for awarding the prizes in physics, chemistry, and economics lies with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; for the prize in physiology or medicine, with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; for the prize in literature, with the Swedish Academy; and for the prize in peace, with the Norwegian Parliament. The diversity of the responsible bodies helps account for idiosyncratic variations in the quality of the laureates. In particular, the committees that elect the laureates in literature and peace are sometimes accused of allowing various ancillary considerations to influence their decisions unduly.

The culminating moment had come and gone. The Nobel medal was in hand, offering no prospect other than the problem of storage. The transience of it all was oppressive. All that remained, I thought, was an inexorable decline into age, without reprieve from my personal demons. The night following the ceremony and grand banquet, the king and queen host the laureates for dinner in the royal palace. The one hundred or so guests all sit at a single table of astonishing length, laden with gargantuan candelabra and elaborate silver dining ware that once belonged to some South American royalty.

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