From cloning to HIV, global warming to astrology, and the O.J. Simpson trial to turning on a light bulb with one's mind, this work challenges us to question scientific dogma. Awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Kery Mullis has frequently been at odds with the scientific establishment.
Books of popular science are thick on the ground these days, but few readers will have encountered anything quite as exhilarating as this remarkable explosion of unorthodox scientific thinking from one of the keenest minds in the field today, Mullis is the man who discovered a way to reproduce and identify DNA strands, and also gleaned a Nobel Prize for chemistry. He is famous as much for this as his experiments with LSD and a variety of claims that many will find outrageous. The form of this utterly readable book is essentially that of an autobiography, but the journey through Mullis's remarkable life manages to take in cloning, HIV, global warming and astrology, with asides on the O J Simpson trial and a novel method for turning on a light bulb. Although the text may be frequently discursive and playful, there is a keenly penetrating intelligence at work here, and Mullis's real agenda is to make us question scientific dogma and orthodoxy. But this is no proselytizing work: the diversity of thought included keeps the smell of the lecture hall far away. Most of all, it is an optimistic book - in an age when science is under threat from illiberal or religious thinkers, this is a breath of fresh air. (Kirkus UK)