Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)
Comments: Walter Isaacson writes incredible biographies – that is known. I felt a rush of gratitude to him for such an in-depth take into the research process of one of the greatest breakthroughs of all time. The iterative process of discovery and the story of the collaboration between Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier and their respective research teams is a nice combination of fascinating, inspiring, and riveting.
Insights that resonated:
(1) A recurring theme in the story was the power of bringing together people with curiosity, single-minded determination, resilience, and a willingness to collaborate on thoughtful hypothesis driven experimentation.
It is a great reminder of an enduring idea – high quality teams, led by strong and capable leaders, can accomplish amazing things.
(2) The discovery of CRISPR was a first step to humans being able to reprogram ourselves – a step as seminal as any. And yet, I appreciated the thoughtfulness with which the scientists involved proceeded. They attempted to continue to experiment while ensuring there was an ongoing conversation on the responsibilities and guardrails required. It was heartwarming to see the amount of thought paid to unintended consequences.