James D. Watson's The Double Helix

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James D. Watson’s The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA is his version of what happened between 1950 and 1953 and how he and his colleague Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA. In this essay I will establish how Watson presents himself, how he describes his own personality and character as a scientist, the nature of science and the characteristics of the scientific community. In particular, how he depicts the the character and personality of other scientists specifically Linus Pauling and Rosalind Franklin. I will do this in relation to Mertonian norms Communism and Organised Skeptism as well as Ian Mitroff’s counter-norms Secrecy, Passionate Commitment and Dogmatism for Watson’s choice to indirectly make reference to these norms and counter-norms aid us in the sense that they play the crucial role of facilitating us in understanding the views and information he presents in his account.…show more content…
It is constantly recurring throughout his autobiographical statements as he recounts how each small discovery by the scientists he encounters help find a simple explanation, model for the structure of DNA from the complex ideas and evidence they began with. It is seen that each scientist had something to contribute whether it was a discovery or knowledge in their area of expertise that was beneficial in the discovery of the DNA structure. For example, when Crick saw Crystallographer V.Vand’s discovery of “a theory for the diffraction of x-rays by helical molecules” though he thought the theory was invalid it peaked his curiosity in finding an accurate theory. Furthermore, in Watson’s interview it is seen that when it comes to science he thinks that if there is scientific knowledge that will affect human beings’, scientists, the scientific community should work to ensure that they understand the knowledge and
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