Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science Paperback – May 4, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
College is for learning how to think. Learning "Why?" something occurred is much more important than a few facts (eg. the reasons for the rise and fall of the Roman Empire are more important than the birth date of Julius Caesar). It is better to simply know which books hold details you will need than to overload oneself with facts that never will be repeated. On the other hand, new ideas usually need new facts.
Students should choose courses that naturally interest them, and if one's grades are not largely a, they likely have not yet found their intellectual calling. One should narrow down their career objectives while still in college.
The academic world abounds in triviality. Choose a young thesis adviser - the older ones' expertise is most likely in fields that long ago had seen their better days, leaving devotees with diminished job expectations. Those breaking new ground inevitably threaten minds continuing in old ways. Extend yourself intellectually through courses that initially frighten - eg. math is necessary to pursue the frontiers of genetics. Never accept invitations to senior faculty homes unless you have reason to anticipate a very good meal or a fetching face.
Exercise exorcises intellectual blahs.Read more ›
There are several interesting ironies in the book. At the end of each chapter is a list of "Manners" describing career advice, yet much of Honest Jim's behavior (chasing undergads, writing unflattering portaits of his colleagues in the Double Helix) is extremely unmannered. Additionally, some of the flourish he adds as head of the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory (expensive renovations on his home) are at odds with the financial mess he was brought in to fix.
The quality of an autobiography, though, shouldn't be judged on a character assessment of the writer. The book gives a non-technical view of the life of one of American's most reknowned scientists, and provides a much broader view than he provided in the Double Helix. The "Manners" do indeed provide advice for junior scientists. Perhaps most important, it isn't boring, and that's a trap hard to avoid in scientific autobiographies.
Nevertheless this book was enjoyable to read, and as a biologist I was very thrilled to find here so many of legendary molecular biologists and cancer researchers, and discover some interesting details about discoveries in phage biology, DNA structure, protein synthesis and tumor virology.
So in the end I would recommend this book only to biologists or people with a deep interest in our science.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
<<<<<i have found WATSON'S book rather boring, and I believe that being a good scientist does not guarantee anything else, at all. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Francesco Comis
Written by a staunch racist. Being black and working in scientific research field, I have come across and worked with many of his type. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ti Kelel
I barely got through this book for all the name dropping. You should avoid this book.Published 16 months ago by Romy
On the one hand, it provides a detailed account of Jim Watson's career and discovery of DNA, so on that account it succeeds, but on the other hand Jim Watson is a fairly unlikeable... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jack Baxter
I found it a bit dry but am not that interested in James D. Watson - my husband was more interested in the human genome project and I feel that not everyone who contributed was... Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by Mary Wheeler
I would have liked more about Dr Watson's ideas and less about all the people he met during his life.Published on May 15, 2013 by Pedro Rivero
This was a very good deal, especially for a hardcover book! There was marking on the book, and clear signs of use, but the inside had no marking.Published on December 31, 2012 by jspr
What a disappointing book. I am afraid the author did not heed his own advice, and went ahead and wrote a boring book. Read morePublished on May 17, 2010 by Francsois
It record almost the whole life of James Watson, the most exciting person with distinctive characters and enjoyable opinions. Read morePublished on March 8, 2010 by Joe Black