‘The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize’ by Peter Doherty

To take a break from some rather involving fiction novels, I picked up ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize’ where it had been laying dormant for a year or so on my bookshelf. Not exactly the kind of book that I’d buy for myself, but no an unwelcome present, either.

Peter Doherty won a Nobel Prize for some work in immunology, and this book is a pastiche including his recollections of the prize, a summary of his work itself, general thoughts about science in the future, the conflict between religion and science, and some general tips on how to win a Nobel Prize yourself. I’ve probably missed some in there. The book is interesting and thoughtful, but not too insightful.

On of his comments that resonated with me was in the conclusion of his section of religion vs. science:

What greater betrayal can there be of God’s good grace, or the continuity of our species and all life, than to embrace polarised attitudes of mind and practices that compromise the lives and opportunities of the generations that are to come?

It’s a statement that I have a hard time believing that anyone, religious or otherwise, could disagree with, and it’s a tidy summation of a morality for everyone.