Watson with DNA model.

If you win a Nobel, expect to gain weight. That warning (superfluous for most of us) comes from Avoid Boring People, the advice-laden memoir (Knopf, $26.95) by James D. Watson, the scientist who, with Francis Crick, unlocked our DNA. Now 79, the South Shore High grad recalls how his father, an avid birdwatcher, met Nathan Leopold while birdwatching in Jackson Park. He describes scientist Rosalind Franklin’s role in discovering the double helix (she died before the Nobel was given). And he reveals his belief that truth comes from reality—not God. “If God doesn’t exist,” he says, when reached by phone at his home in Long Island, “why act as if he does?”



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