I died for beauty : Dorothy Wrinch and the cultures of science / Marjorie Senechal.

Senechal, Marjorie [Browse]
New York : Oxford University Press, c2013.
ix, 300 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


Summary note
  • "In the vein of A Beautiful Mind, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, and Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, this volume tells the poignant story of the brilliant, colorful, controversial mathematician named Dorothy Wrinch. Drawing on her own personal and professional relationship with Wrinch and archives in the United States, Canada, and England, Marjorie Senechal explores the life and work of this provocative, scintillating mind. Senechal portrays a woman who was learned, restless, imperious, exacting, critical, witty, and kind. A young disciple of Bertrand Russell while at Cambridge, the first women to receive a doctor of science degree from Oxford University, Wrinch's contributions to mathematical physics, philosophy, probability theory, genetics, protein structure, and crystallography were anything but inconsequential. But Wrinch, a complicated and ultimately tragic figure, is remembered today for her much publicized feud with Linus Pauling over the molecular architecture of proteins. Pauling ultimately won that bitter battle. Yet, Senechal reminds us, some of the giants of mid-century science--including Niels Bohr, Irving Langmuir, D'Arcy Thompson, Harold Urey, and David Harker--took Wrinch's side in the feud. What accounts for her vast if now-forgotten influence? What did these renowned thinkers, in such different fields, hope her model might explain? Senechal presents a sympathetic portrait of the life and work of a luminous but tragically flawed character. At the same time, she illuminates the subtler prejudices Wrinch faced as a feisty woman, profound culture clashes between scientific disciplines, ever-changing notions of symmetry and pattern in science, and the puzzling roles of beauty and truth"-- Provided by publisher.
  • "A biography of Dorothy Wrinch"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Machine generated contents note: -- Part I Dorothy Wrinch -- Chapter 1. Prologue -- Chapter 2. Culture clash at Cold Spring Harbor -- Chapter 3. Symmetry Festival -- Chapter 4. Dot -- Part II Logics -- Chapter 5. The Wrangler -- Chapter 6. Dear Mr. Russell -- Chapter 7. The Summation of Pleasures -- Chapter 8. Scientific method -- Part III Biology in Transition -- Chapter 9. The Spicules of Sponges -- Chapter 10. Homes are Hell -- Chapter 11. Metamorphoses -- Chapter 12. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest -- Notes and References for Part III -- Part IV Proteins and the Imagination -- Chapter 13. Hornet Buzz -- Chapter 14. The Cyclol Model -- Chapter 15. What Is She Doing Here? -- Chapter 16. "Linus and Dorothy," the Opera, with Talkback -- Part V The Rosetta Stone of the Solid State -- Chapter 17. Crystals -- Chapter 18. X-rays and Insulin -- Chapter 19. Structure factors -- Chapter 20. Amherst College Wife -- Part VI I Died for Beauty -- Chapter 21. The Sequel -- Chapter 22. Strange Doings at Sandoz -- Chapter 23. Swan Song -- Chapter 24. Epilogue -- Cast of Characters -- Appendix -- Acknowledgments -- Notes and References -- Index.
  • 9780199732593 (hardback)
  • 0199732590 (hardback)
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