This blog is mostly for me to have a place to speak about issues that get my blood up in science and society but still be able to keep my day job, and prattle on about various topics in science that pique my interest but would never be published in traditional journal formats. For related but shorter commentary, have a look at my Twitter feed. Views expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. I blog under my own name since I stand by the things I say, and (as of Feb 2013) will only accept comments made under verifiably real names.

The blog takes it’s name from Max Perutz’s book I Wish I’d Made You Angry Earlier: Essays on Science, Scientists and Humanity, which itself was based on an anecdote where Perutz told Lawrence Bragg that he was motivated to confirm Linus Pauling’s α-helix model because of “his fury over having missed that beautiful structure myself,” to which Bragg replied “I wish I had made you angry earlier!” To me, this story encapsulates the important, but often underappreciated, role of emotional motivation in great creative acts like science, art or blogging.

3 Responses to “About this blog”


  1. 1 Pleuni Pennings July 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Can you recommend the Perutz book?

    • 2 caseybergman July 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      Absolutely. The book is mainly chapters of reprinting of Perutz’s reviews of biographies of early/mid 20th century scientific luminaries, plus a few chapters of autobiographical/first hand accounts of various key events in mid 20th century biochemistry. He writes in a formal but engaging style, and paints relatively vivid portraits of the lives of scientists. I was hooked form page one I checked out the book from the libary to learn more about how the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge (like the Fly Room at Columbia) could have turned out so many great scientists. Much to my chagrin, the Preface begins:

      Every now and then I receive visits from earnest men and women armed with questionnaires and tape recorders who want to find out what made the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (where I work) so remarkably creative…

      The book also has a lot of good photos and an interesting list of quotes that Perutz collected in his “Commonplace Book”, which gives you an idea of what Perutz might have been tweeting about if this technology was around in his time.

  2. 3 Pleuni Pennings July 18, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Sounds like the kind of book I like to read. I also think anger is underrated!


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