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Jeff's View
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am 18. Februar 2006
Jeff's view comes in seventeen short chapters, which originally had appeared as columns in: Federation of European Biochemical Societies Letter. Seven chapters present a lively written and easy-to-read overview over the principal features of the chemistry inside cells. To this field Schatz contributed significantly, particularly to the elucidation of the inner workings of mitochondria, for which he is a world-renowned expert. The style appeals to the non-expert with serious interests in the life sciences. Unusual angles are opened up: for instance, do you know that the specific power, i. e. watts per kilogram bodymass, released by a human thanks to the mitochondria is 10,000 times higher than that of the sun? The other ten chapters deal critically with the organization, policies and politics of academia, especially with the relationships, mostly financial, between universities and research institutes on the one side and governments, including the supranational institutions of the European Union, on the other. With a life-long engagement in the academic world of the U.S.A. and Europe and as science advisor to governments he gained the experience and knowledge not only for analytically criticizing the present situation but also for offering suggestions for improvements. One can only wish that many persons in positions from where changes can be initiated will read the book. The subtitle of the book suggests that scientists are portrayed. Fortunately, only scientists as a breed are characterized with humor and a little bit of irony; names are not dropped nor anectodes related. I read the book in two consecutive evenings, which fact attests to its quality.
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