Science Djerasi, Carl The Bourbaki Gambit

ISBN 13: 9780140254853

The Bourbaki Gambit

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9780140254853: The Bourbaki Gambit

This novel, like Jurassic Park, hinges on the real-world technology incorporated in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), one of the most important breakthroughs in biomedical science. The 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry recognized the immense significance of PCR, which is a process for quickly generating and then infinitely replicating fragments of genetic material. An impostor takes all of the credit in Carl Djerassi's fictionalized account of PCR's discovery and development. As the scientific community eventually discovers, Professor Diana Skordylis is not really one of their own, she is four of their own - three men and a woman - who publish their collaborative work under the Skordylis pseudonym. Two of them American, one Japanese, and one Austrian, they average around sixty-five years in age. Their archetype is a famous group of French mathematicians who actually have been publishing collectively for several decades under the nom de plume of Nicolas Bourbaki. Revenge is the Skordylis group's initial motivation. Victims of subtle age discrimination, they have all seen their research budgets and faculty privileges curtailed; two have been forcibly retired. Each Skordylis project they complete, each paper they publish under her name, is a satisfying poke at a scientific community that marginalizes its senior members. But PCR is different. It is not only their best work, it is among the best work done by any scientist in recent memory. Professional jealousy soon threatens Diana Skordylis's life, as some group members struggle with the urge to claim their share of the fame and separately seek out PCR's most innovative applications. Djerassi writes about the collaborative nature at theheart of the scientific enterprise and the desire for personal recognition in the hearts of most scientists; about the graying of Western science; and about the human frailties and humanistic concerns of its practitioners.

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Review:

"In "The Bourbaki Gambit" Carl Djerassi again demonstrates his unique ability to make modern science both comprehensible and the stuff of absorbing fiction."--David Lodge

From the Author:

Open Djerassi's home page can start an interesting dialog
My home page will allow access to all of my literary works and also lists my e-mail address. This is one way of entering into a dialog with a fiction writer, PROVIDED (a) you have actually read the book (b) you have interesting comments, criticisms or questions. If any reader is interested in listening to this author, one of the web pages always lists the current lecture/reading schedule.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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