Ahead of our next Berwins Salon North event on 5th September, we dive a little deeper into each of the speakers. This week Sam Crich from Berwins Solicitors takes a look at Venki Ramakrishnan’s Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome…

As someone who was at one time quite undecided about pursuing a career in science, having read this book, I’m now glad that I didn’t!

If you are looking for a piercing introduction to the ribosome then look no further. Venki’s user-friendly and staged explanation of the key concepts is one that any reader can enjoy (though perhaps by re-reading a few lines every now and then). I didn’t think a book on ribosomes could be a page-turner, but this really is and I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in biology or science generally.

Venki doesn’t just set out the scientific journey to understanding ribosomes, his account is one that credits the many incremental contributions across scientific fields that led to the current state of the art which then  creates a platform for further and deeper scientific discovery. Venki provides a deep and charismatic insight into the hidden pressures and common challenges facing science and scientists alike in pursuing pure science as a career brought to life with colourful and meaningful anecdotes. Things start to get particularly interesting when you realise the rivalries and pressures that arise when individual and quite niche projects become a direct competition with other scientists (often friends) all in a race to unlocking a deeper understanding of core science and claiming the associated professional kudos!