Samanth Subramanian’s A dominant character 

I enjoyed reading Samanth Subramanian’s A dominant character: The science and politics of J B S Haldane. I knew very little about Haldane; I knew that he was in ISI, Calcutta; I knew that he did some of the calculations related to altruism (thanks to Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar’s lucid exposition — in his Survival strategies, a must, must read by the way — and talks in IISc); and, I vaguely remembered that he might have been a socialist.

Samanth Subramanian’s book is very well written; it is very engaging; and, gives a complete picture of the man, his science and his politics (as indicated in the title). It is also laugh out loud funny at places!!

I did have difficulties in reconciling myself with some of the stands that Haldane took — especially with respect to the Lysenko affair; but I guess the moral of the story is that it is very difficult for us scientists to separate our science from our politics and we have to be constantly on our watch!

On the whole, a very good read and strongly recommended!

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