Article ID: CBB088100681

When Physics Meets Biology: A Less Known Feynman (2018)


We discuss a less known aspect of Feynman’s multifaceted scientific work, centered about his interest in molecular biology, which came out around 1959 and lasted for several years. After a quick historical reconstruction about the birth of molecular biology, we focus on Feynman’s work on genetics with Robert S. Edgar in the laboratory of Max Delbruck, which was later quoted by Francis Crick and others in relevant papers, as well as in Feynman’s lectures given at the Hughes Aircraft Company on biology, organic chemistry and microbiology, whose notes taken by the attendee John Neer are available. An intriguing perspective comes out about one of the most interesting scientists of the XX century.

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Authors & Contributors
Olby, Robert C.
Deichmann, Ute
Sloan, Phillip R.
Elkin, Lynne Osman
Holliday, Robin
Ridley, Matt
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Physics Today
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Atlas Books
Greenwood Press
World Scientific
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
University of Chicago Press
Molecular biology
Crick, Francis
Watson, James Dewey
Delbrück, Max
Franklin, Rosalind
Bohr, Niels Henrik David
Jordan, Pascual
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
21st century
Human Genome Project
Universität zu Köln. Institut für Genetik

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