Nicholas Wade on Jim Watson, Writer
  Nicholas Wade     Biography    
Recorded: 30 May 2003

He has a very distinctive writing style. Most scientists do not write well. That could be because the type of person who is drawn into science does not necessarily have a facility with language. Or it could be that the impersonal nature of the scientific literature trains scientists to write in a particularly unfortunate way. But Jim has a wonderfully direct style. He has a great way of telling a story which is an unexpected talent to find in a scientist. The Double Helix is not his only triumph. His textbook, the Molecular Biology of the Gene, was a fine piece of expository writing and highly influential.

Nicholas Wade received a B.A. in natural sciences from King's College in Cambridge (1964). He was deputy editor of (italics) Nature magazine in London and then became that journal's Washington correspondent. He joined (italics) Science magazine in Washington as a reporter and later moved to (italics)The New York Times, where he has been an editorial writer, concentrating his writing on issues of defense, space, science, medicine, technology, genetics, molecular biology, the environment, and public policy, a science reporter, and science editor. He is the author or coauthor of several books including (italics) LIFE SCRIPT: How The Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine And Enhance Your Health (2002).

Covering the Human Genome Project for the (italics) New York Times since 1990, Wade has interviewed Watson on various occasions and visited Cold Spring Harbor for the annual Genome symposium.