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Gareth Williams

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Linghams Booksellers

248 Telegraph Road

Heswall

Wirral

CH60 7SG

United Kingdom

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Friend of the shop Gareth Williams will be visiting on the 4th June to talk about his new book.


Tickets £10 and are redeemable against the book

UNRAVELLING THE DOUBLE HELIX covers the most colourful period in the history of DNA, from the discovery of ‘nuclein’ (in pus-soaked bandages) in 1868 to the publication of James Watson's best-selling The Double Helix a century later. These hundred years witnessed the births of the Nobel Prizes, antibiotics, X-ray crystallography and the atom bomb, as well as both World Wars – and all these events moulded the story of DNA.

UNRAVELLING THE DOUBLE HELIX is a saga packed with awful mistakes as well as brilliant science, played out by a wonderful cast of heroes and villains. Surprisingly, much of it is unfamiliar. Everyone knows that Watson and Crick cracked the double helix, but Williams shows that they clicked into place the last pieces of a massive jigsaw puzzle which others had taken decades to assemble.

The cast includes:

Sir John Randall, inventor of a radar device which helped to win the Second World War, and later the Machiavellian chief of the Biophysics Unit at King’s College, London. Randall recruited both Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin and deliberately set them against each other to keep them under control. He was the linchpin of the Double Helix episode; without him, history would have been rewritten because Watson, Crick, Wilkins and Franklin would never have been involved.

Rosalind Franklin, a brilliant but fiercely independent crystallographer who deliberately cut herself off from her colleague Maurice Wilkins. She came within ‘two half-steps’ of cracking the Double Helix herself, before Randall pushed her out of King’s and DNA research. During her short lifetime, Franklin was most famous for her research into coal and viruses; her work on DNA is remembered today mainly because Watson demonised her in The Double Helix.

Maurice Wilkins did more research on DNA than the others, and inspired both Crick and Watson to solve the structure and function of DNA – but was done down by Watson and Crick and written off as ‘the third man of DNA’. Wilkins was a man of paradoxes: a pacifist who worked on the atom bomb, a brilliant experimenter who built his own equipment (and repaired gas leaks with a condom from his pocket), and an artistic soul who needed psychotherapy every morning before work.

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Date and Time

Location

Linghams Booksellers

248 Telegraph Road

Heswall

Wirral

CH60 7SG

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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