Dancing Naked in the Mind Field
Here is a multidimensional playland of ideas from the world's most eccentric Nobel-Prize winning scientist. Kary Mullis is legendary for his invention of PCR, which redefined the world of DNA, genetics, and forensic science. He is also a surfer, a veteran of Berkeley in the sixties, and perhaps the only Nobel laureate to describe a possible encounter with aliens. A scientist of boundless curiosity, he refuses to accept any proposition based on secondhand or hearsay evidence, and always looks for the "money trail" when scientists make announcements.
Mullis writes with passion and humor about a wide range of topics: from global warming to the O. J. Simpson trial, from poisonous spiders to HIV, from scientific method to astrology. Dancing Naked in the Mind Field challenges us to question the authority of scientific dogma even as it reveals the workings of an uncannily original scientific mind.
jury would be even more convinced after hearing my testimony, and I thought some of the things I would say could influence the whole case. But the question Cochran rightly asked was, do we need to take a chance by going further when it looks like we’ve already won on DNA? My horoscope says I shouldn’t expect to be a corporate kind of guy, and I’m not. Bob Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran couldn’t help liking me—I have good manners, I’m well informed and often funny. But there was a danger there, and
fifty grams. As I was boiling the benzene on a hot plate, it burst into flames and blew flaming benzene all over my hand. I wrapped my shirt around it and Al and I raced twenty miles in rush hour traffic to the hospital. We drove the old blue ’55 Chevy up on sidewalks, went through lights, did things that would have attracted a police escort any other time. No luck. We raced into the emergency entrance of the Baptist Hospital. I waited with my hand in a stainless steel pan of warm sterile
responded by sending me an article she’d torn from the Reader’s Digest. It said that taking LSD was bad for your brain and will cause flashbacks for the rest of your life. She entreated me not to do it anymore. I wrote back that it was too late. It had already changed me. I wanted to understand what had happened. How could 1000 micrograms—one thousandth of a gram—of some chemical cause my entire fucking sensorium to undergo such incredible changes? What mechanisms inside my brain were being so
“here” is. The most reliable primary journals are refereed. After you send in your article, the editors send copies of it to several of your colleagues for review. They become the referees. The editors are paid for their work on the journal; the referees are not. But what they do gives them power, which most of them like. I did computer searches. Neither Montagnier, Gallo, nor anyone else had published papers describing experiments which led to the conclusion that HIV probably caused AIDS. I
call it HIV was a short-sighted mistake that preempted any thought of investigation into the causal relationship between Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Duesberg pointed out wisely from the sidelines in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that there was no good evidence implicating the new virus. He was ignored. Editors rejected his manuscripts and committees of his colleagues began to question his need for having his research funds