A Feeling for the Organism

by Evelyn Fox Keller
San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1983. 235 pages.

A scant five months after the original publication of Keller's biography in 1983, McClintock won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of mobile genetic elements — transposons, or "jumping genes". As Rollin Hotchkiss writes in the foreword, "Keller's calm recital of how McClintock faced professional gender hurdles and prejudices is factual reportage that can give every reader, male or female, a vicarious experience of these problems. Moreover, her analysis of McClintock's scientific work — in its broad context — describes some difficult aspects of modern genetics and itself constitutes a significant contribution to the broad history of thought."