As a student in Cambridge, Alan Hodgkin first became interested in the basis of nerve conduction, using single nerve fibers from a shore crab in his experiments. In 1963, he won the Nobel prize for his work on nerve conduction, and in 1970 became President of the Royal Society. Chance and Design is a fascinating chronicle of Hodgkin's life, providing a glimpse into the world of Cambridge undergraduates in the thirties, the motivation behind his research into nerve conduction, his work on centimeter radar during World War II, and his life as a Cambridge academic after the war. The book concludes with an account of the Nobel prize ceremony in 1963. This highly readable autobiography gives an insight into the working patterns and private life of an eminent scientist, and will appeal not only to scientists, but also to those interested in gaining an understanding of what inspires scientific research.
'Hodgkin comes across in this enjoyable book as a genial and humane scientist passionately devoted to his research for its own sake both before and after being awarded his Nobel prize.' M. F. Perutz, Nature 'A masterly exposition of his life's work.' Sir Bernard Katz, New Scientist