The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize

Advice for Young Scientists

Peter Doherty

Columbia University Press

The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize

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Pub Date: May 2008

ISBN: 9780231138970

320 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $24.95£19.95

Pub Date: May 2006

ISBN: 9780231138963

320 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£62.95

Pub Date: May 2006

ISBN: 9780231511261

320 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $23.99£19.95

The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize

Advice for Young Scientists

Peter Doherty

Columbia University Press

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.
A highly readable introduction to the modern world of scientific research. Mary Powers, Commercialappeal.com
Important to any aspiring scientist. Bookwatch
A charmingly homely account of his own unlikely path toward this pinnacle. Margaret Wertheim, Los Angeles Times
Doherty opens the vault to the world of science. Nature
The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize is an interesting and useful read for up-and-coming scientists. Journal of the American Medical Association
This extended and amusing memoir does show how the path to a Nobel can be rocky and winding. Jeff Bairstow, Laser Focus World
Introduction 1
The Swedish Effect 9
The Science Culture 26
This Scientific Life 57
A Science Story 94
Personal Discoveries and New Commitments 140
The Next American Century? 159
Science and Religion 189
Discovering the Future 215
How to Win a Nobel Prize 238
Appendix 1 256
Appendix 2 263
Abbreviations 280
Index 286

"Winning a Nobel wasn't what I set out to do with my life, and as far as I was concerned, it was an extraordinarily improbable outcome. Why me?"

Read more from the >Introduction to The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize. (pdf)

Web Features Click to download the podcast of Peter Doherty's speech at the New York Academy of Sciences from Science & The City.

About the Author

Peter C. Doherty was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1996. He is currently operating active research programs at both St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and the University of Melbourne.