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WATSON AND CRICK by Victoria Sherrow

WATSON AND CRICK

Decoding the Secrets of DNA

By Victoria Sherrow

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-56711-133-5

 A flawed entry in the Partners series of biographies, this book explores the unique relationship between Watson and Crick, who (along with Maurice Wilkins) were awarded a Nobel prize for solving the mystery of the structure of DNA. Both Watson, an American, and Crick, an Englishman, were independently inspired to explore molecular biology; by the time they met at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, both were fascinated at the prospect of unraveling the secret of life. Sherrow describes the process of their collaboration in detail, and, for the most part, with great clarity, given the lack of visuals regarding the scientific concepts involved. Unfortunately, she glosses over important historical aspects of the story in order to deliver this dual portrait. It is common knowledge that Watson and Crick solved the DNA puzzle shortly after they came into contact with the research findings of another scientist, Dr. Rosalind Franklin. By ignoring the moral issues involved in the pursuit of scientific discoveries, Sherrow shortchanges readers; a more balanced account of this partnership can be found in Joyce Baldwin's DNA Pioneer: James Watson and the Double Helix (1994), geared to the same age group. (Nonfiction. 10-12)