by Samanth Subramanian

One of the Wall Street Journal‘s 10 Best Books of 2020

One of the New York Times‘s 100 Notable Books of 2020

A biography of J. B. S. Haldane, the brilliant and eccentric British scientist whose innovative predictions inspired Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

J. B. S. Haldane’s life was rich and strange, never short on genius or drama—from his boyhood apprenticeship to his scientist father, who first instilled in him a devotion to the scientific method; to his time in the trenches during the First World War, where he wrote his first scientific paper; to his numerous experiments on himself, including inhaling dangerous levels of carbon dioxide and drinking hydrochloric acid; to his clandestine research for the British Admiralty during the Second World War. He is best remembered as a geneticist who revolutionized our understanding of evolution, but his peers hailed him as a polymath. One student called him “the last man who might know all there was to be known.”

Interview with the Author

The Book Review
The Life of a Brilliant, Suffering Scientist
8/21/20       48 min

Genetics Unzipped
S4.03 – A dominant character: The Life of JBS Haldane
2/11/21        35 min

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