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Chapter 29 : Recollections of Jacques Monod

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Recollections of Jacques Monod, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

This chapter discusses the author’s relationship with Jacques Monod, who is a Nobel Prize-winning French biologist and director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Having chosen Jacques for a role model, the year the author spent in Jacques’ ambience had a profound effect on his formation as a scientist. The author talks about the lunchtime conversations at Jacques’ table that covered a broad range of scientific, political, and cultural subjects. According to Jacques, the most recent of the evolutionary accidents was responsible for the emergence within the biosphere of a new realm, the noosphere, or realm of knowledge. Once the noosphere had come into being there began within it an evolutionary process based on the natural selection, not of genes, but of ideas. Of all the ideas in the noosphere, the most powerful to have emerged is that of objective knowledge. Jacques now attempts to explicate the concept of objectivity that was to be central to Chance and Necessity: for him objective knowledge is that which has no source but the systematic confrontation of logic and experience. The author met Jacques one more time, at the 1974 Colloquium “Biology and the Future of Man” held at the Sorbonne, and they exchanged a few amicable civilities, without finding words for a substantive conversation.

Citation: Wyman J. 2003. Recollections of Jacques Monod, p 263-267. In Ullmann A (ed), Origins of Molecular Biology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817763.ch29

Key Concept Ranking

Natural Selection
0.54587454
Amino Acids
0.51598406
Proteins
0.43536147
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Citation: Wyman J. 2003. Recollections of Jacques Monod, p 263-267. In Ullmann A (ed), Origins of Molecular Biology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817763.ch29
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