K Hall

Kersten Hall is a former molecular biologist who now writes about science and is Visiting Fellow at the Centre for History And Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. His book 'The Man in the Monkeynut Coat' (Oxford University Press) which featured on a 'Books of 2014' list in 'The Guardian' newspaper, and was shortlisted for the British Society for History of Science 2015 Dingle Prize, tells the story of the pioneering physicist William Astbury, whose role in one of the biggest discoveries in history has long been overlooked.


What is the double-helical structure of DNA and who was William Astbury?

"Hall’s book provides a useful historical corrective to the notion that all scientists are heroes; some of them are disappointed men." Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology, Imperial College, London 'The Guardian' 1st January 2015

"Fascinating book. I particularly enjoyed reading about Astbury's background and impressive wide-ranging activites" - Jenifer Glynn, author of My Sister Rosalind Franklin

"I have not been disappointed ... beautifully written and easy to read ... a job very well done" - John Jenkin, author of William and Lawrence Bragg, Father and Son: The Most Extraordinary Collaboration in Science

"The storyline works very well and I was gripped from the beginning to the end of the book. The author describes numerous stories that capture the human interest aspects of doing science, with its pains and its jubilations." - John R. Helliwell, University of Manchester

"Kersten Hall has brought into the limelight a normally unsung key player in the development of modern molecular and structural biology by writing this very engaging biography of William Astbury." - Professor Elspeth Garman, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford

"This fascinating biography of the founder of molecular biology, the biocrystallographer William Astbury, reads like detective story. Very rich in details, it paints a vivid picture of the scientific scene round Astbury, and reveals some unknown key aspects of the quest for the structure of DNA" - André Authier, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris

"Hall tells his story with style and pace." - Georgina Ferry, Nature

Front Cover of 'The Man in the Monkeynut Coat'