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by Gunther S. Stent

Download Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology ePub
  • ISBN 0966456300
  • ISBN13 978-0966456301
  • Language English
  • Author Gunther S. Stent
  • Publisher Transaction Publishers (February 1, 2004)
  • Pages 396
  • Formats txt lrf doc azw
  • Category Math
  • Subcategory Biological Sciences
  • Size ePub 1735 kb
  • Size Fb2 1184 kb
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 507

What prompts a well-renowned scientist in molecular biology to write memoirs about a part of his life? In the case of Gunther Stent, it was not to reflect on his career as a scientist, but to come to an understanding of his own soul. In his seventies, he had come to see that he had been, throughout his life, an emotional sleepwalker, especially as regards women and, in addition, that he had been troubled by Jewish self-hatred. His story may have more to do with St. Augustine's Confessions than with a scientist's memoirs. Stent provides insight into the power of political correctness, and the ability of a government to establish a perverse vision of reality. For readers interested in bioethics, Stent's memoirs help to explain how Germany could have been the first country to enact an all-encompassing protection for human research subjects while it was also the country that produced the medical experiments of the Nazis and the greatest perversion of medical morality in history. Stent is a person of intelligence and subtlety, an accomplished writer, a deep and wise man, and a loyal friend. His narrative is centered emotionally on a youth spent in Berlin in the Nazi period. As a boy of fourteen he was an eyewitness of the horrors of the Kristallnacht pogrom.On New Year's Eve 1938 he escaped from Germany across the "green frontier." He came to America in his teens, only to return to Berlin at the end of World War II as a scientific consultant for the U.S. Military. On his return to the States, Stent participated in the exciting early scientific breakthroughs of molecular biology that transformed the twentieth-century life sciences. His Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology is a piercing self-examination, and as its review in Science Newsletter says, "an act of self-exposure, abnegation, contrition, and expiation." It will be of keen interest to those who have inhabited Stent's worlds or shared his experiences, as well as those who wish to learn more about them. Gunther S. Stent is professor emeritus of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of such classic texts as Molecular Biology of Bacterial Viruses and Molecular Genetics, as well as philosophical books, such as The Coming of the Golden Age, Paradoxes of Progress, and, most recently (2002), Paradoxes of Free Will.


Gunther S. Stent (28 March 1924 – 12 June 2008) was Graduate Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Gunther S. One of the early bacteriophage biologists, he was known also for his studies on the metabolism of bacteria and neurobiology of leeches, and for his writing on the history and philosophy of biology. He was born Günter Siegmund Stensch in Berlin. His surname was changed following his emigration to the US in 1940, where he went to live in Chicago.

Stent is a person of intelligence and subtlety, an accomplished writer, a deep and wise man, and a loyal friend.

What prompts a well-renowned scientist in molecular biology to write memoirs about a part of his life? In the case of Gunther Stent, it was not to reflect on his career as a scientist, but to come to an understanding of his own soul

What prompts a well-renowned scientist in molecular biology to write memoirs about a part of his life? In the case of Gunther Stent, it was not to reflect on his career as a scientist, but to come to an understanding of his own soul. In his seventies, he had come to see that he had been, throughout his life, an emotional sleepwalker, especially as regards women and, in addition, that he had been troubled by Jewish self-hatred.

Start by marking Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology as Want to Read . Gunther S. Stent is professor emeritus of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley

Start by marking Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Stent is professor emeritus of neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of such classic texts as Molecular Biology of Bacterial Viruses and Molecular Genetics, as well as philosophical books, such as The Coming of the Golden Age, Paradoxes of Progress, and, most recently (2002), Paradoxes of Free Will. Stent - 1986 - Biology and Philosophy 1 (2):227-247. Stent & George W. Kowalski (ed. Morality as a Biological Phenomenon: Report of the Dahlem Workshop on Biology and Morals, Berlin 1977, November 28-December. - 1978 - schaft. The Dilemma of Science and Morals. Stent - 1975 - Zygon 10 (1):95-112. Gunther Stent - 2004 - In Christina E. Erneling & David Martel Johnson (ed., Mind As a Scientific Object. Oxford University Press.

In an autobiography, Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology: Memoirs of a Lucky Self-Hater (Briones Books, 1998), Dr. Stent wrote that as a 14-year-old Jewish boy he had been so foolish as to be upset at not being able to join the Hitler Youth. Too soon afterward, however, he was fleeing through the Ardennes forest on the way to Antwerp, Belgium, then made his way to England and Canada and eventually joined relatives in Chicago. Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology - eBook.

Gunther Siegmund Stent, German molecular biologist, educator. American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow University of Copenhagen and Institute Pasteur, Paris 1950-1952.

Nazis, Women, and Molecular Biology: Memoirs of a Lucky Self-hater. Kensington, Calif: Briones Books. Muller, K. Nicholls, J. & Stent, G. S. (1981). Neurobiology of the Leech. Cold Spring Harbor, . Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Molecular Genetics; an Introductory Narrative.

Talk about Nazis, Women and Molecular Biology


allegro
I don't want to duplicate Wittig's 2001 review but I do want to log my five stars. I was in college when Stent's Paradoxes of Progress came out in 1979, and I recall him giving a talk about it at my college that year. I later did graduate school work in neurobiology, reading some of Stent's neuroscience research, and I knew he was a pioneer in the phage era also. (One of my college professors around 1980 had worked on phage integration as early as 1962).

Stent grew up in an upper middle class Berlin family in the 1930s, where they hung on until Kristallnacht, hoping things would get better, as well as suffering from the difficulty of liquidating assets and getting immigration visas. Stent worked his way through college and grad school around 1940-45, then had a year in Germany as a translator. The book winds down in the early 1950s after his postdoc with Delbruck on viral biology at Caltech.

A large part of the book is about his wide ranging love life from high school through his late 20s. I found this very interesting. He was looking back vividly on this period from his 70s, and at this point in my life I can look back on that age from almost age 60. He appears to have an uncanny sense of detail and he saved many girlfriends' letters from the 1940s.

I was struck by his tales of an "apartheid" form of anti-semitism in college in the 1940s, it was taken for granted that Jews were excluded from fraternities, etc, just as blacks were. Amazing. Finally, the book was very well written. Most of the book cycles between 1946 and the 1930s, something like this: (Jan 1946, then 1932; Feb 1946, then 1933; March 1946, then 1934...) If you would like more about Stent, there is a 45 minute video interview on Youtube sponsored by Society for Neuroscience.
Winail
Wow what a story. Dr. Stent was my professor way back in 1964 at Berkeley. This book was incredible. He was the reason I ended up in Molecular Biology, and I never knew anything about him except that he was a very fine writer and had a lot of publications and books about molecular biology that were very useful for a student and fellow researchers. But this, about his life, was over the top.
Coiril
Life being stranger that fiction this is an extraordinary story. Relevant today for understanding the the dramatic impact of trauma on children. A cautionary tale from which much can be learned about human nature.
Xava
This very readable and forthright autobiography covers the first 26 years of life of one of the leading American molecular biologists. The rich fabric of its story is told in part in beautiful letters. His recollections reflect both, a lifetime of incisive analysis and the mellow philosophical perspective of a septuagenarian. This multifaceted memoir can be read at varying levels of depth, reaching from the unencumbered experience of a middleschool student to the sophistication of a postgraduate, and it adresses a multitude of aspects of social and intellectual life. Though chockful with historical detail, it presents common and personal occurrences and opinions with humor, irony, even satire, and it is at least in parts breathtakingly thrilling. The first part of the book describes the author's upbringing in a partially assimilated, reform Jewish family. Starting out as an unexpected and spoiled addition to two older siblings, Stent evokes the social and cultural life enjoyed by well-to-do femilies in the German capital Berlin during the 1920s Weimar regime. Bereft by the tragic illness and death of his doting mother, the boy is increasingly consternated, isolated and frightened by the rapidly unfolding official anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany, and he is imprinted with the terror of the Nuremberg progromes and the 1938 Kristallnacht. With father and siblings already abroad, the 14-year-old and his stepmother embark on a dangerous, illegal escape that leads them to safety. Having finally reached Chicago, the adolescent, essentially on his own and pitifully poor, completes his schooling and strives for a college education. The cultural change left him totally unprepared for dealing with coeds, in whom he is now greatly interested. He starts out more or less undetermined in his search for a woman and a career, and he learns to grab and eventually finagle opportunities. As member of a government technical branch, he returns in 1947 to Germany and his beloved , now war-torn Berlin, but having the power of both an American uniform and American cigarettes. Back home in the US, he struggles with the excitement and intellectual challenge of reseaarch, its potential fame, and the parternalistic sociality inherent in a research career. The latter's cost is deferment of a mature sex and love life. This dilemma and his racial victimization affirm his self-perception as a "lucky self-hater." Despite his passionate sexuality, he is in his relationships with women enotionally unresponsive, undecided, or at times (he says) a cad. Unwittingly, he victimizes the "other" but, in the final analysis, again himself. The last part of the book sets forth the beginnings of molecular biology, in which Stent participated as an early member of Max Delbrueck's groupon bacteriphage research. Though lacking literature references, the book's historical data appear to have been verified during the author's 1985-1991 research fellowships. Stent's autobiography is more thoughtful than James Watson's "The Double Helix," of which Stent has been a renown critic. Stent perceives science as a sociocultural activity and addresses both its lofty ideals and its flaws. A major topic is anti-Semitism and the arrogance that feeds into it. Stent conveys to his readers an understanding of its many faces and of the sociocultural evil of any racism. By pointing out the splinter in his own, the victim's, eye, he proves that it is humanly almost impossible to be totally free from racism. Biophysicist Stent does not embrace the reductionism prevailing in molecular biology. He seems to warn of its dangers to the emotional development and humanization of budding scientists. Knowing that modern physics contradicts the subject-object separation time-honored in biological thinking, he commits himself in his memoir to being both. My favorite piquantery among the many in his recollections is a play with an allusion of his first name with Wagner's Gunther. It leads to a summary, rather self-deprecating evaluation of his scientific merits (pp.15-16). Scientific papers begin customarily with a summary of the salient points: here, the image of the great "hero" scientist will be rejected. Rather, Stent wants to be perceived, warts and all, as the protagonist of his bittersweet story.
Axebourne
Gunther was my fathers best friend in grad school, and I had the good fortune to meet him twice. I started reading the book because of the family connection, but ended up enjoying the personal story of a young boy evading the Nazis, and then triumphing oveer the whole experience as an adult.