Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art and Politics of Science” as Want to Read:
The Art and Politics of Science
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Art and Politics of Science

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A PhD candidate in English literature at Harvard University, Harold Varmus discovered he was drawn instead to medicine and eventually found himself at the forefront of cancer research at the University of California, San Francisco. In this “timely memoir of a remarkable career” (American Scientist), Varmus considers a life’s work that thus far includes not only the groundb ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 24th 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 25th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Art and Politics of Science, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Art and Politics of Science

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 304)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 02, 2011 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the first 2/3 of the book. The last half was about Harold Varmus' career and was not as interesting. It is a good read because it shows how someone interested in writing can end up in a completely different career - research scientist. There is quite a bit of science in it but he explains it plainly. He is an excellent writer. The gist of it is how scientists solve questions. The back story is a man and his wife and children who are following their dreams.
Sep 19, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great memoir from one of the outstanding scientists of our day (a Nobel prize winner, the former NIH Director, and the current Director of the National Cancer Institute). What I liked is that it's not only a biography of Dr. Varmus and his Nobel prize-winning discovery of proto-oncogenes. But the book also covers his experience in running the NIH, and the important work he's done to foster open source publishing in science and improved global health.
Very intrigued by people who go from the arts to the sciences (or vice versa). Also curious how he got the US govt to double the NIH budget and whether he might do something similarly science-friendly now that he's part of Obama's administration...

Vaguely pertinent to my current NRSA attempt, and therefore a valid form of procrastination during typing breaks :)

To do: finish the cancer lab and future policy sections...
Aug 07, 2009 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terry by:
Shelves: science, biographies
I feel like I'm punishing the author for having a rather dull interesting life. There are no epic successes or failures but a narrative of competence and ability. I kept reading hoping for some stunning revelation and there was quite little. The time on Sloan Kettering was short and there was little insider information that gave one the feeling of having seen great secrets.

Apr 10, 2009 Nancy marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, memoir
Another book I could not get traction on. It is due back at the library and I won't be going to the effort to take it out again. I only got to page 46 so don't feel it is fair to rate it at all. I'd hoped someone with both a science and literary background would write something that grabbed the reader more. Maybe that happens sometime after page 46....
Ken Roebuck
Jul 26, 2011 Ken Roebuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an NIH scientific administrator I found this book quite revealing and would recommend it to anyone interested in a scientific career in academia or goverment to give you a behind-the-scences look at NIH science policy. The section on the controversial naming of the AIDS virus was particulary facinating for me since I worked on HIV in the '90s.
Quite interesting for me, especially the discovery of oncogenes, well written, no wonder he was trained on literature before, a versatile man with broad talent: science, literature, medicine, politics, which are coined in the title"the art and politics of science" Many people try to bring science and art together, this''s not a bad one.
Aug 30, 2012 Mindy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Jeff Tamblyn (lunch at Cafe Tempo Aug/2012)
Laura Inzer
Apr 15, 2013 Laura Inzer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible! Worth the time. Simply amazing.
Jun 20, 2010 Jahan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lets see what he does now at the NCI... I didn't know that he was a force behind pubmed central and PLOS.
Meredith Coles
Meredith Coles marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
Shashi marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2016
Anurag marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2016
Roger Leiton-thompson
Roger Leiton-thompson marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
Paige marked it as to-read
May 14, 2016
Alicia Farina
Alicia Farina marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
John rated it really liked it
May 01, 2016
Dawn marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Sai marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Andrew Wolf
Andrew Wolf rated it it was ok
Apr 14, 2016
GiaVanni Hendricks
GiaVanni Hendricks marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2016
Andrew marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2016
Zainab added it
Mar 14, 2016
Nilotpal Roy
Nilotpal Roy rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2016
Çağrı Mert Bakırcı
Çağrı Mert Bakırcı marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Tisha rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2016
Louis Klonsky
Louis Klonsky rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
Steve rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2016
Bill Zarges
Bill Zarges marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2016
Carrie marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier
  • The Beginner's Guide To Winning The Nobel Prize: A Life In Science
  • Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future
  • Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
  • Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon
  • Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius
  • "So What Are You Going to Do with That?": Finding Careers Outside Academia
  • The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It
  • Darwin's Origin of the Species: A Biography
  • The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us
  • The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity
  • Advice for a Young Investigator
  • The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life While Corresponding about Math
  • The Art of Scientific Investigation
  • Advice To A Young Scientist
  • Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements
  • Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century
  • Natural Obsessions: The Search for the Oncogene

Share This Book