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The Rockefeller University Press offers free access to books

Rockefeller University Press


IMAGE: The Rockefeller University Press has expanded access to its book collection, with nearly 50 titles available for free download in multiple e-book formats at view more

Credit: The Rockefeller University Press

The Rockefeller University Press (RUP) has expanded access to its book collection, with nearly 50 titles available for free download in multiple e-book formats. The collection dates back to 1959 and includes works by Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors.

The books are available for download through RUP's online store at, where readers also have the opportunity to purchase hardcover or softcover copies of most titles for under $20. The collection includes biographies and works on neuroscience, science history, public policy, and other science themes.

"Books are a small but valued part of Rockefeller's publishing legacy," says Robert O'Donnell, Director of Publishing Technologies at RUP. "We're happy that advances in e-publishing have provided a feasible way for us to make these important works, which would otherwise be lost, freely accessible for the scientific and broader community."

Many of the books published by RUP were written by faculty members of The Rockefeller University, a world-renowned center for research and graduate education located in New York City. Some of the noteworthy titles include:

  • The Professor, the Institute, and DNA (1976) by the late René Dubos, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Rockefeller professor. The book chronicles the life and work of Oswald Theodore Avery, a pioneer at Rockefeller in the development of medical research who is best known for the 1944 study that identified DNA as the basis of inheritance.
  • Heraclitean Fire (1978) is an autobiography by the late Erwin Chargaff, an Austrian biochemist who formulated "Chargaff's rule," the most important piece of evidence for the double helix structure of DNA. Chargaff, who immigrated to the US during the Nazi era and spent the bulk of his career at Columbia University, received the National Medal of Science and many other awards.
  • The Hostage Brain (1994) includes striking illustrations to explain how the brain functions and how it is often subverted. Targeted to lay audiences, the book was a collaboration between Rockefeller Professor Bruce S. McEwen and the late Harold M. Schmeck, Jr., a long-time New York Times science writer.
  • Entering an Unseen World (2012), by Carol L. Moberg, tells the story of a Rockefeller laboratory that helped create a new science: modern cell biology. The book includes firsthand accounts by more than 20 scientists associated with the lab and nearly 150 classic illustrations and photographs.

Detailed descriptions of these and other books in the collection are available at


About The Rockefeller University Press

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller University Press has provided scientists with vital research and information they can trust. The Press is a department of The Rockefeller University and publishes three biomedical journals: The Journal of Experimental Medicine, founded in 1896; The Journal of General Physiology, founded in 1918; and The Journal of Cell Biology, founded in 1955. For more information, please visit

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