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November 8, 1995

The Bourbaki Gambit

Author Affiliations

Pierre, SD

JAMA. 1995;274(18):1480-1481. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530180074041

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The Bourbaki Gambit is a novel about the doing of 20th-century molecular science. It is also an excursion by a distinguished scientist into the country of the humanities. If science is the world of outer objective reality, then art is the domain of inner subjective reality. The two worlds do not easily blend, as thinking and feeling sometimes seem divergent and immiscible. So in this book we have the experience and sensibilities of a scientist directed toward the inner motivations of human behavior, toward characters in action, toward an unfolding narrative.

This "science in fiction" story is told through the voice and mind of one Max Weiss, a Princeton researcher who has just been ungraciously nudged toward what he sees as the ignominy of emeritus status. Through an apparent chance meeting on a beach with Diana Doyle-Ditmus, an erstwhile humanist with a penchant for French history, the pair hatch a

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