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To Err and Win a Nobel Prize: Paul Boyer, ATP Synthase and the Emergence of Bioenergetics

Douglas Allchin
Journal of the History of Biology
Vol. 35, No. 1 (Spring, 2002), pp. 149-172
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4331710
Page Count: 24
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To Err and Win a Nobel Prize: Paul Boyer, ATP Synthase and the Emergence of Bioenergetics
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Abstract

Paul Boyer shared a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on the mechanism of ATP synthase. His earlier work, though (which contributed indirectly to his triumph), included major errors, both experimental and theoretical. Two benchmark cases offer insight into how scientists err and how they deal with error. Boyer's work also parallels and illustrates the emergence of bioenergetics in the second half of the twentieth century, rivaling achievements in evolution and molecular biology.

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