Journal of the History of Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 149–172

To Err and Win a Nobel Prize: Paul Boyer, ATP Synthase and the Emergence of Bioenergetics

  • Douglas Allchin

DOI: 10.1023/A:1014583721788

Cite this article as:
Allchin, D. Journal of the History of Biology (2002) 35: 149. doi:10.1023/A:1014583721788


Paul Boyer shared a Nobel Prize in1997 for his work on the mechanism of ATPsynthase. His earlier work, though (whichcontributed indirectly to his triumph),included major errors, both experimental andtheoretical. Two benchmark cases offer insightinto how scientists err and how they deal witherror. Boyer's work also parallels andillustrates the emergence of bioenergetics inthe second half of the twentieth century,rivaling achievements in evolution andmolecular biology.

ATP synthase bioenergetics conformational hypothesis error oxidative phosphorylation Paul Boyer phosphohistidine 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Allchin
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in the History of Science and TechnologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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