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I’m a Surfer

Steven Shapin: What’s the Genome Worth?, 20 March 2008

A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life 
by Craig Venter.
Allen Lane, 390 pp., £25, October 2007, 978 0 7139 9724 8
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... but if the cards fell in the right way, it wouldn’t be a Buick you were driving but a Bentley. Craig Venter’s career – he was born in 1946 – tracks these historical changes. The route he followed to a scientific vocation was as personally circuitous as it was structurally perspicuous. An adolescent bored with school, he muddled part of the way ...

It’s like getting married

Barbara Herrnstein Smith: Academic v. Industrial Science, 12 February 2009

The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation 
by Steven Shapin.
Chicago, 468 pp., £15, October 2008, 978 0 226 75024 8
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... the venture capitalist, a pairing memorably represented in The Scientific Life by a photo of Craig Venter, super-mapper and super-marketer of the human genome, posed in half lab coat, half business suit, staring out impassively with evident self-satisfaction. It is here, too, at the conclusion of all his stories, that Shapin’s own efforts become ...

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