J. D. Bernal: The Sage of Science

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Overview

"J.D. Bernal, widely known as Sage since his undergraduate days at Cambridge, was a visionary scientist who was the first to see that the new subject of X-ray crystallography could be applied to the study of life. His pioneering work at Cambridge in the 1930s laid the foundation of molecular biology. He was one of the most influential and brilliant scientists of his time, inspiring many subsequent Nobel laureates." "Bernal's restless energy and legendary intellect took him far beyond science. An astonishing polymath and a fervent Marxist, he was one of the central figures in a cosmopolitan intelligentsia in an age of extremes. The story of Bernal's life reflects the extraordinary political and intellectual climate in which he lived." Brown's biography sets out a life richly and fully lived. Nearly every important British scientist of the mid-third of the 20th century appears in its pages, along with artists (Picasso, Hepworth), writers (Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Pablo Neruda) and statesmen (Churchill, Khruschev, Mao, and Nehru). This account draws on unprecedented access to Bernal's papers and war reports to piece together a dazzling image of Bernal: his Irish Catholic childhood, his Cambridge years, his research, his dedication to science, his intellectual brilliance, his blind, unswerving commitment to Marxism, his unorthodox Bohemian love life. But above all, the Bernal who emerges from this often critical account is a man not only of remarkable mental powers but of great warmth, kindness, and humanity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199205653
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/16/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Brown is a medical doctor and radiologist turned scientific biographer. His biography of Sir James Chadwick, discoverer of the neutron, 'The Neutron and the Bomb', was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. He has also published a number of scientific papers and articles.

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Table of Contents

1. A Long Way to Go

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