Stephen Rothman is an Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He has written three books devoted to the topic of limitations of the reductionist scientific enterprise in biology. Lessons from the Living Cell: The Limits of Reductionism (2002), was an evaluation of reductionism as a research strategy. Life Beyond Molecules and Genes: How our Adaptations Make us Alive (2009), was about reductionism as a means of explaining life, of determining whether something is living. And, The Paradox of Evolution: The Strange Relationship between Natural Selection and Reproduction (2015), discusses the adequacy of reductionism as an instrument of description for evolution. All three are unusual in that they concern points of view that many think are well settled. This new book deals with the vesicle theory, which explains the basic structure and function of cells, but about which there remain reasons to doubt. Rothman studied at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1950s and subsequently taught and carried out research as a professor at Harvard Medical School. From the early 1970's until his retirement he was a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
His research covered a wide range of topics from molecular to whole-animal biology. He and his colleagues published some 200 articles in scientific journals including Nature and Science. As a senior member of the faculty at two of the most prominent medical schools in the world, he was most well known for his pioneering studies on the transport of protein molecules across biological membranes. During the 1980s, he was responsible for developing life-science activities for a synchrotron at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He founded and served as CEO, CSO and Chairman of the Board of Genteric Corporation, a small biotechnology company in the Bay Area that pursued innovative methods of gene therapy.
Oil painting, especially portraits, and classical piano. I should add I enjoy good food, movies, ballet, symphony, theater and all kinds of music from Bach to Bluegrass.