National Book Critics Circle, Nonfiction, 2000
Jonathan Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Beak of the Finch, brings his brilliant reporting skills to the story of Seymour Benzer, the Brooklyn-born maverick scientist whose study of genetics and experiments with fruit fly genes has helped revolutionize or knowledge of the connections between DNA and behavior both animal and human.
How much of our fate is decided before we are born? Which of our characteristics is inscribed in our DNA? Weiner brings us into Benzer's Fly Rooms at the California Institute of Technology, where Benzer, and his asssociates are in the process of finding answers, often astonishing ones, to these questions. Part biography, part thrilling scientific detective story, Time, Love, Memory forcefully demonstrates how Benzer's studies are changing our world view--and even our lives.
©2000 Jonathan Weiner; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I think it is very hard to write a science book that can be understood without pictures. This book does a very good job. It is always interesting, and frequently funny. Could you devise a test to see if fruit flies can learn? If fruit flies can learn with a head, can they learn without one? Will a headless fruit fly learn faster? These and other important questions are answered in this book. I am not going to spoil the book by revealing the insights that came from the experiments conducted in the highly competitive fly rooms around the world, but trust me.
I will go back and listen to this book again in a couple years.
'Time, Love, Memory' presents a well-written and consistently interesting history of modern biology. By examining major figures in the field and describing various research breakthroughs, Weiner crafts an excellent book for anyone interested in the science of biological behavior.
on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...
Weiner, also the author of "Beak of the Finch" knows how to make scientists and their research come to vibrant life. Often reading like a novel, this book starts at the very beginning of modern genetics research through the present day. The events are engaging and the scientists are portrayed with character and humanity. With genetics as the foundation of so much modern medicine and bio-technology, this is a rewarding and intriguing look at important and rapidly growing research. For the first time in a long time, this made me contemplate and going back for my masters/Ph.D!
Its appeal is probably only to science geeks like myself but, if you're one too, I think you're going to love this book.
Weiner, with Time, Love, Memory and The Beak of the Finch, has written a pair of classics that are beautifully put together with style and a sense of story. These two books also wave a hand in front of the story of DNA charting the structure and granduer of evolution. So much of what was abstract to me concerning the interaction of genetics in the last 60 years is now vivid and concrete.
Weiner also uncovers the life of the workers in the field genetics. The exciting and the mundane labors that lead to great discoveries and understandings are portrayed with honesty and drama. Quite a feat.
The pair of books are the best description of what can be like to be a working scientist I had ever come across. Anyone who wants to know what it feels like to be in the midst of what is sometimes surprisingly world-changing work can find out here.
The author and the narrator did an excellent job, brought life to a seemingly dry and boring subject of molecular biology history. This book presents stories about well known scientists, and untold countless graduate students and post-docs, whose effort, talent, dedications, sheer luck, or misfortune brought about our partial understanding of the genetic or molecular basis of life. It reads like a mystery sci-fi.
I recommend this book highly to those who are interested in any of the topics below:
- A brief history of molecular biology, gene research.
- A window into scientific investigations ??? their attractions, perseverance, disappointments, triumphs, and politics.
- How human being is but a part of the biological universe.
- how our behavior or free will is or is not what we think we know.
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