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by Peter Doherty DVM

In The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, Doherty recounts his unlikely path to becoming a Nobel Laureate. Beginning with his humble origins in Australia, he tells how he developed an interest in immunology and describes his award-winning, influential work with Rolf Zinkernagel on T-cells and the nature of immune defense. In prose that is at turns amusing and astute, Doherty reveals how his nonconformist upbringing, sense of being an outsider, and search for different perspectives have shaped his life and work.Doherty offers a rare, insider's look at the realities of being a research scientist. He lucidly explains his own scientific work and how research projects are selected, funded, and organized; the major problems science is trying to solve; and the rewards and pitfalls of a career in scientific research. For Doherty, science still plays an important role in improving the world, and he argues that scientists need to do a better job of making their work more accessible to the public. Throughout the book, Doherty explores the stories of past Nobel winners and considers some of the crucial scientific debates of our time, including the safety of genetically modified foods and the tensions between science and religion. He concludes with some "tips" on how to win a Nobel Prize, including advice on being persistent, generous, and culturally aware, and he stresses the value of evidence. The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Noble Prize is essential reading for anyone interested in a career in science.
Download The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: Advice for Young Scientists epub
ISBN: 0231138970
ISBN13: 978-0231138970
Category: Science
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Author: Peter Doherty DVM
Language: English
Publisher: Columbia University Press (May 12, 2008)
Pages: 320 pages
ePUB size: 1792 kb
FB2 size: 1304 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 903
Other Formats: mbr lrf rtf lit

Great book but is definitely not about winning the Nobel Prize. Also, the advice is nothing unique. The real gem of this book is how it discusses the author's path to success, his interests and investment in science, and the sacrifices he and his family made to get there.

I appreciated his humor and his ability to tell an engaging story. If you're interested in learning about the backgrounds behind sciences' most accomplished this is a great start. Recommended for those entering college.
I just got done reading this. I would say that this book should be required reading for anyone considering a life in the biomedical sciences. One star off because I thought chapter two was a bit tiresome.
This is a good book for a young scientist with big dreams to read. For my own purposes, which included research into the Nobel Prize recommendation candidate positioning and marketing ... eh ... not so much. Good advice, though, for a kid thinking about a career in science.
It's interesting to consider the trajectory of this scientist. He was a brainy boy from the 'burbs who through calmness, consistency and curiosity earned the Nobel Prize. He reflects on what science is, and what it offers to everyone. The book is easy to read in that the author seems very modest and generous, although I struggled to follow some of the more technical explanation. That's part of the pleasure of the read for me.
This book is hard to read for all the ego Dr. Doherty has.
Description/condition of textbook was accurate. Textbook was received in very good condition. Shipping occured quickly and textbook was received well before estimated delivery date. Thank you very much for your prompt service. Looking forward to buying from you again.
Review of `The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science' by Peter Doherty.

CITATION: Doherty, P. (2007). The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science. Melbourne: Miegunyah Press.

REVIEWER: Dr W. P. Palmer

Peter Doherty was awarded the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine jointly with a Swiss colleague, Rolf Zinkernagel, for their work on `the nature of the cellular immune defence' in 1996.

The title should be taken with a `pinch of salt' as no one could plan a career so as to win a Nobel Prize. Doherty's 282 page book is not always serious, providing several humorous anecdotes and quotes "It helps to have a sense of humour and, when you are talking the talk and walking the walk, to look down as well as up" which is to avoid stepping in the metaphorical `deep doo-doo'. The book is informative, proving mainly interesting reading, though I did find it dull in parts; it is sincere throughout and as Doherty becomes less involved in practical day to day research, he gives a lot of time to helping the image of science in Australia.

His chapter 7- Through different prisms: science and religion- touches on evolution and `creationism' and abortion issues and will not be appreciated by all, though he generally keeps to a middle of the road scientific viewpoint.

It is a book worthwhile reading.

The small book by the 1996 Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty contains advice for scientist striving towards the prestigious award themselves. After reading it, I would suggest to change the title to “A short recap about science, life in general, and humanity's major challenges by an Australian history fan who won a Nobel Prize in immunology”.

After 8 pages of acknowledgments, definitions of scientific terms, and two prefaces Doherty starts with a short introduction about his life, especially his upbringing in Australia, his general career, and the moment he was given the life changing prize every scientist is hoping for. He doesn’t skip over describing his thoughts and feelings in detail and admits his love for history, a fact that will become more and more obvious during the following chapters.

He goes more into detail in the second chapter “The Swedish effect” describing the whole process surrounding the Nobel Price ceremony and the changes in his personal life afterwards. This part is pretty interesting, gives detailed insight into this otherwise rather closed process, and provides a good starting point for one’s personal dreams about a glorious future.

The next two chapters are my personal low point in Doherty's book. “The science culture” is a lengthy excursion into public opinion of science in comparison to reality, a long historic list of scientific breakthrough with many specific examples (e.g. AIDS), and his own opinion about what is wrong especially with the communication between science and the public. Chapter 3 - “The scientific life” explains the general work path of scientists with examples of his own life and the careers of other Nobel Prize winners. Some passages about PhD and postdoc work contain interesting facts but his focus is again on work and education in America and he mentions too many names and dates. Both chapters are written in a simple way and deal with perceptions of science any young scientist should have long since left behind, confirming the general impression, that this book actually appeals to non-scientist rather than to students who already started to work in this field.

The fourth chapter contains a very simplified explanation of adaptive immunity and the discovery that brought Doherty his Nobel Prize followed by another detailed historic detour about all Nobel Laureates in the field of immunology and several from other fields. Again the amount of names and dates is overwhelming.

Doherty uses the last two chapters to give a pretty specific insight into the way scientific research is organized and financed, focusing on America and Australia and adding his own opinion how the American system is responsible for the many US Nobel Laureates and why Australia needs to start doing the same. He ends his explanations with a short speculation about the main science projects of the next decades.

In the last part of his book - after reminding us again of the obvious fact, that there is no master plan for winning the Nobel Prize - Doherty gives 8 pages of key points on how to live as a successful and happy scientist. Even though he doesn't add many surprising facts, this was my favourite part of the book because it gives you a very concise view of what to concentrate on during your upcoming career and makes you aware of some possible stumbling blocks I never thought of before.

In general, I would conclude that Peter Doherty's book is a very detailed insight into a Noble Laureate's mind. If you are able to get through the sometimes rather long and boring historic excursions into the world of science in general and the Nobel Prize in particular, you can pick up some helpful advice on your own future as a scientist. But reading the book, most of the time, I felt like the wrong target group, since it seems to have been written for interested non-scientist and high school graduates who consider a future as a research scientist rather than young scientists.

KH, Biochemistry, University of Tübingen