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Masterminds - David Ewing Duncan

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Masterminds - genius, DNA, and the quest to rewrite life
David Ewing Duncan
Paperback / softback
Harper Perennial
UK Publication Date

Combining myth, biography, and wit, this is a highly original depiction of cutting-edge science and its profound implications, told through the scientists who are rewriting life on earth.

Throughout history, the scientists' personalities have astonished us. From Galileo to Jonas Salk, they push and stretch society's boundaries though their great leaps of imagination and originality, providing us with everything from the wheel to rocket ships and penicillin. Today's masterminds in biotechnology promise lifespans up to 400 years, cures for cancer, and an end to pollution. But they are also capable of causing social upheavals with Frankenstein-like nightmare creations, as well as bioweapons.

Award-winning writer David Ewing Duncan has written a startling narrative about science and personality, delving into stem cells, cloning, bioengineering, and genetics by telling the stories of the characters at the fulcrum of the science. He uses a unique method of tying in age-old stories and myths - from Prometheus and Eve to Faustus and Frankenstein - to ask the question: can we trust these scientists?

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David Ewing Duncan, the author of five books, including the international bestseller 'Calendar', writes for Wired, Discover, and the Atlantic Monthly. He is a freelance producer and correspondent for ABC's Nightline, and a commentator on NPR's Morning Edition. He lives in San Francisco, CA.

'Duncan writes the way good teachers teach, conversational, yet informed … [He] is a populizer and a storyteller.' USA Today

'Rather than speculating about the future in a more conventional way, David Ewing-Duncan, in his charming and often amusing book, uses instead the personalities and thoughts of a coterie of exceptional geneticists.' Adrian Woolfson, Observer

'An interesting book … clear and helpful.' Brenda Maddox, The Times

'Duncan turns a scarily bright light on the exploding frontiers of biotechnology.' Vanity Fair

'Vivid, memorable portrayals of the scientists working on biology's most fascinating frontiers.' Atlantic Monthly

'Duncan turns his discerning eye toward the role of personality in science … remarkable profiles … Duncan's prose is lively and engaging.' San Francisco Chronicle

Keyword Index
Biotechnologists - Biography.|Geneticists - Biography.|Discoveries in science - Social aspects.|Genetic engineering - Social aspects.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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