Dr Kersten Hall

Honorary Fellow
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Summary: A former molecular biologist in the School of Medicine, Dr. Hall is now author of 'The Man in the Monkeynut Coat' which tells the story of the forgotten pioneer, Leeds scientist, William Astbury.

Overview

Formerly a molecular biologist in the School of Medicine, Dr. Kersten Hall is now visiting fellow in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science. His book 'The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and the Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix' (Oxford University Press, 2014) which was shortlisted for the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) 2015 Dingle Prize and also featured on a list of 'Books of 2014' selected by a reviewer at 'The Guardian' newspaper, tells the story of unsung scientific pioneer William Astbury whose role in the discovery of the structure of DNA has been largely overlooked.

With the support of the BSHS and in collaboration with Professor Staffan Mueller-Wille of the University of Exeter, Kersten has also produced a new translation from German into English of the original research of Gregor Mendel, the 19th century abbot and biologist whose research is today widely hailed by textbooks as being the foundation of modern genetics. The new translation is available online at the BSHS website, and it is hoped that this will bring invaluable new insights into the ongoing debate amongst historians about Mendels' work and its significance today.