Simon & Schuster to Publish New Edition of James D. Watson's THE DOUBLE HELIX, Nov 2012


Simon & Schuster will publish a new edition of James D. Watson's The Double Helix, annotated and illustrated by Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski this November, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins receiving the Nobel prize for identifying the structure of DNA. Publisher Jonathan Karp acquired North American and digital rights for the book from Amanda Urban of ICM.

In the original 1968 memoir, The Double Helix, James Watson held nothing back, offering not only a startling window into the scientific method, full of insight and wit-but a portrait of brilliant scientists with human ambitions and bitter rivalries, pushing one another toward a discovery which would usher in the era of modern molecular biology.

Many years later, Gann and Witkowski, two professors at the Watson School of Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, discovered a trove of correspondence belonging to Francis Crick, mislaid some 50 years earlier. Struck by a new perspective of the now legendary story of Watson and Crick, they were inspired to create a book which would combine other narratives, add context and document the social history of the DNA detective story. It is being published in association with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Gann and Witkowski gained permission from James Watson himself to create an annotated version of his memoir and pair it with the rich existing archive of documents, photographs, and illustrations. Mining many sources, both published and unpublished, this new edition offers an enhanced experience of this momentous story, filled with the kind of science anecdotes that are told and retold in the halls of universities and laboratories everywhere.

Watson himself is amazed by how much new material had been folded into his original book. "Seeing so many old letters and photographs, and reading so much new information about many of the characters in the story, recalled for me vividly those days in Cambridge almost 60 years ago-what it was like to be a young American living in postwar England and to be surrounded by so many bright people."

"The Double Helix is one of the seminal science books of our time," says Jonathan Karp. "It's an honor to be publishing this edition, which will provoke new conversation and appreciation."<

"We're delighted to add Simon & Schuster's expertise and renown to the publication of this new edition" says John Inglis, Executive Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Photographs and illustrations bring this scientific adventure to life, staying true to the spirit of Watson's original text. This entertaining volume will fascinate and illuminate both new readers and those familiar with the original.

James D. Watson, together with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962. He is Chancellor Emeritus of the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Alexander Gann (the Lita Annenberg Hazen Dean-Elect) and Jan Witkowski (Executive Director, Banbury Center) are also members of the faculty of the Watson School of Biological Sciences.

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Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. CSHL is ranked number one in the world by Thomson Reuters for impact of its research in molecular biology and genetics. The Laboratory has been home to eight Nobel Prize winners. Today, CSHL's multidisciplinary scientific community is more than 360 scientists strong and its Meetings & Courses program hosts more than 12,500 scientists from around the world each year to its Long Island campus and its China center. Tens of thousands more benefit from the research, reviews, and ideas published in journals and books distributed internationally by CSHL Press. The Laboratory's education arm also includes a graduate school and programs for undergraduates as well as middle and high school students and teachers. CSHL is a private, not-for-profit institution on the north shore of Long Island. For more information, visit