Designs for Life

Designs for Life

Molecular Biology after World War II

Author(s): Soraya de Chadarevian
Publication Date: 07-07-2011

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Molecular biology has come to dominate our perceptions of life, health and disease. In the decades following World War II, the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge was a world-renowned centre of this emerging discipline. It was here that Crick and Watson, Kendrew and Perutz, Sanger and Brenner pursued their celebrated investigations. Soraya de Chadarevian's important study was the first to examine the creation and expansion of molecular biology through the prism of this remarkable institution. Firmly placing the history of the laboratory in its broader institutional and scientific context, she shows how molecular biology was built at the lab bench and through the wide circulation of tools, models and researchers, as well as in governmental committees, international exhibitions and television studios. Designs for Life is a major contribution both to the history of molecular biology, and to the history of science and technology in post-war Britain.

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