Jean Daussets finding that white blood cells play an active role in immunization won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine and opened a new area of biological investigation, both in pure and in applied research. The HLA system harbours a unique peptide which may be regarded as the essence of the self in opposition to everything else much as the pineal gland was regarded as the seat of the soul by Descartes. The distinction between the self and the non-self is an essential one in immunology where an individuals defensive system must fight off foreign bodies while at the same time defending his or her own system. In his book, Jean Dausset recounts the story of his discovery and introduces the reader to other fascinating aspects of his life and work.
As we come to the end of the century, the question of the future of science is often posed. I believe we are just at the beginning of a new endeavour. We are witnessing the development of a science which is no longer limited to simplified, idealised situations, but makes us face the complexity of the real world. This new science will allow human creativity to be experienced as the unique expression of a fundamental trait common to all aspects of nature. Ive tried to present this conceptual transformation, which implies the beginning of a new chapter in the fruitful relations between physics and mathematics, in a manner that will be comprehensible and accessible to all readers interested in the evolution of our ideas of nature. We are but at the threshold of a new chapter in the history of our dialogue with nature, writes Ilya Prigogine. Ilya Prigogine, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, teaches at the Free University of Brussels and at the University of Texas, in Austin.
What does it mean to be homosexual today ? Is it necessary to form communities and if so, why ? Is the primary aim equality in society such as it is, or the challenging of society itself ? Up to what point do homosexuals distinguish themselves ? Must there be a link between sexual claims and political dispute ? The gay and lesbian communities necessarily ask themselves these questions. On a wider scale, they also encourage a redefinition of the human being in contemporary societies. Already considered a classic in the United States, Homos presents an innovative, critical reflection on identity and the dangers in the withdrawal of a community from society. An expert in French literature, Leo Bersani is a professor at the University of California. He has notably published Baudelaire and Freud, and Theory and Violence.
Why do some people become obsessed with cleanliness, fear of causing accidents, or the idea that they are guilty of some fault or imperfection? Where should the line be drawn between "normal" obsessions, from which everyone suffers to a greater or lesser degree, and pathological obsessions? When should measures be taken to treat those who suffer from obsessions? Why have obsessive-compulsive disorders become so common (2.5% of the population now suffer from them)? Jean Cottrauxs study of several clinical cases enables him to describe how obsessive-thought processes function. Doctor Jean Cottraux is a clinical psychiatrist and lecturer at the Université de Lyon I.