Walter Isaacson’s The Code Breaker is a fascinating look at the life and work of Jennifer Doudna, one of the scientists responsible for discovering CRISPR-Cas9 – a gene editing technology with enormous potential implications for human health. Isaacson chronicles Doudna’s journey from young scientist searching for answers to global superstar, exploring both her professional achievements and personal struggles along the way. He paints a compelling picture of the brave new world of genetic engineering, and provides readers with an in-depth understanding of both CRISPR-Cas9 itself and its many potentially game-changing applications.
For who is this book for ?
The Code Breaker is for anyone with an interest in science, technology, or biography. It provides a detailed overview of CRISPR-Cas9 and its potential implications for human health – making it accessible even to those without a scientific background.
- Well-written and engrossing
- Provides a comprehensive overview of CRISPR-Cas9 and its potential implications
- Insightful look at the life and work of Jennifer Doudna
- The author’s writing style is a bit dense and dry at times.
- The book feels like it could use another round of editing, with repeated points and some choppy sentence structures.
- It does not provide a comprehensive history of CRISPR technology or Doudna’s career; for those looking for that level of detail, other sources may be more satisfying
Learn more about the author
Walter Isaacson is a world-renowned author, journalist and biographer. He is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington D.C., and has also served as chairman of CNN, managing editor of Time magazine, and executive vice president at Simon & Schuster. His previous books include Einstein: His Life And Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; Kissinger: A Biography; The Innovators: How A Group Of Hackers, Geniuses And Geeks Created The Digital Revolution; Steve Jobs (published posthumously); Leonardo da Vinci;and Henry Kissinger.
“Walter Isaacson has a knack for getting inside the minds of history’s greatest figures and digging out their lesser-known stories. With The Code Breaker, he does just that with Jennifer Doudna – one of the scientists responsible for discovering CRISPR-Cas9, a gene editing technology with enormous potential implications for human health. This engaging biography provides readers with an in-depth understanding not only of CRISPR-Cas9 itself but also of the challenges and ethical questions inherent in its use.”
“This book provides a well-written and concise history of Doudna’s life as a scientist, starting with her early days at Caltech, through the development of CRISPR-Cas9. I especially appreciate that Isaacson doesn’t shy away from discussing both the scientific and ethical implications of gene editing.”
“It is hard to overstate the importance of Jennifer Doudna’s work on CRISPR-Cas9, and Isaacson does a great job of explaining both the science and its potential implications. This is an essential read for anyone interested in gene editing – or in the future of humanity.”
“Walter Isaacson has a knack for peeling back the layers of complex subjects to reveal their inner workings in an engaging and accessible way. The Code Breaker is no exception, offering readers a fascinating look at one of the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries of our time. Jennifer Doudna is a remarkable woman, and Isaacson does her justice with his insightful telling of her story.”