'It is a strange model and embodies several unusual features. However, since DNA is an unusual substance, we are not hesitant in being bold' By elucidating the structure of DNA, the molecule underlying all life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionised biochemistry. At the time, Watson was only 24. His uncompromisingly honest account of those heady days lifts the lid on the real world of great scientists, with their very human faults and foibles, their petty rivalries and driving ambition. Above all, he captures the extraordinary excitement of their desperate efforts to beat their rivals at King's College to the solution to one of the great enigmas of the life sciences.
James Watson studied zoology at the University of Chicago, subsequently moving to Europe to work in Copenhagen and Cambridge, where together with Francis Crick, he solved the structure of DNA, for which they received a share of the Nobel Prize in 1962. From 1961 he was Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Harvard. Steve Jones is Professor of Genetics and head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College, London. He is a television presenter and a prize-winning author and he has a regular science column in the DAILY TELEGRAPH.