Fruton, J. A skeptical biochemist


Fruton, J. A skeptical biochemist



Joseph S. Fruton. A skeptical biochemist

An eminent pioneer of modern protein chemistry looks back on six decades in biochemical research and education to advance stimulating thoughts about science – how it is practiced, how it is explained, and how its history is written. Taking the title of his book from Robert Boyle’s classic, The Sceptical Chymist (1661), and Joseph Needham’s The Sceptical Biologist (1929), Joseph Fruton brings his own skeptical vision to bear on how chemistry and biology interact to describe living systems.

Biochemistry and skepticism -- Perspectives on the scientific method -- Views of Peter Medawar -- Claude Bernard and his Medicine experimentale -- Justus von Liebig on Francis Bacon -- On craftsmanship -- On hypotheses in the biochemical sciences -- Sanger and insulin: a case history -- Perils of the search for simplicity -- Interplay of biology and chemistry -- Nineteenth-century debates -- Emergence of biochemistry -- Nineteenth-century cytology, embryology, and microbiology -- Twentieth-century embryology versus genetics -- Emergence of biochemical genetics -- Sack full of enzymes? -- On biomolecular structure -- Jacques Monod and allostery -- On energy-rich phosphate bonds -- Dynamics of biochemical processes -- On biochemical function and purpose -- On specificity and individuality -- Evolutionary theory and the unity of biology -- Approaches to the history of the biochemical sciences -- On historians of chemistry -- On historians of the biochemical sciences -- On scientific disciplines -- On the origins of molecular biology -- On scientific biography and autobiography.



Publication Date



Harvard University Press


Cambridge, Mass.




The Rockefeller University Library 3rd Floor Special Collections QU 4 F9451 1992

The Rockefeller University Library President's Office OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Fruton, J. A skeptical biochemist