Gareth Williams
Agent(s): Julian Alexander

Gareth Williams MD ScD FRCP FRCPE is the Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at the University of Bristol. He won an Open Scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge and qualified with Honours in Medicine and Pharmacology in 1977. After training in London and Geneva, he moved to Liverpool and built up an internationally recognised research group in diabetes and obesity and became a Professor of Medicine producing over 200 scientific papers and over 20 medical books.

His first book Angel of Death: The Story of Smallpox (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) is a lively and powerful account of our battle against smallpox.

Paralysed with Fear: The Story of Polio (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) tells the compelling story of mankind’s struggle against polio.

A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2016) delves into the legend of the UK’s most famous monster. Is it a creature that should have died out with the dinosaurs, or a legend built on hoaxes and wishful thinking?

In his most recent book, Unravelling the Double Helix (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2019), Professor Gareth Williams sets the record straight. He tells the story of DNA in the round, from its discovery in pus-soaked bandages in 1868 to the aftermath of Watson’s best-seller The Double Helix a century later. You don’t need to be a scientist to enjoy this book. It’s a page-turner that unfolds like a detective story, with suspense, false leads and treachery, and a fabulous cast of noble heroes and back-stabbing villains. But beware: some of the science is dreadful, and the heroes and villains may not be the ones you expect.

Books