The Man in the Monkeynut Coat by Kersten T. Hall Book Summary:
The Man in the Monkeynut Coat tells the story of a neglected pioneer whose vital role in one of the biggest scientific discoveries of all time has largely been forgotten. Working at Leeds in the 1930s, the physicist William T. Astbury was the first person to make successful X-ray studies of the structure of DNA, the molecule of heredity. In the course of this work, he laid the foundations for the ground-breaking discovery of the double-helical structureof DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, and also transformed biology, leaving a scientific legacy that is still felt in medicine today.Whilst Watson and Crick went on to win theNobel Prize, Astbury's name is largely unknown. This is perhaps a classic case of history being written by the winners, but his name surely deserves far greater recognition for, as this book shows, without him Watson and Crick would almost certainly have been left empty-handed.