Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
Patterns, proteins and peace:
a life in science

A new, revised paperback edition was published on 3 October 2019 by Bloomsbury Reader. Also available as an ebook published by Bloomsbury Reader on, or from the iBooks Store, or direct from the publisher. An audiobook is available from Audible via Amazon.

Originally published as Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life by Granta Books UK hardback 1998, Granta Books UK paperback 1999, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press North America hardback and paperback 2000, Shanghai Scientific and Technical Educational Publishing (Chinese edition) 2004.

‘This life of Hodgkin is in the top rank of scientific biographies’ (Sunday Times)
‘Ferry has brilliantly captured the flavour of a century of science’ (New Scientist)
‘Georgina Ferry gives us a genuinely illuminating account of Hodgkin’s life, neatly balancing the personal with the scientific.’ (Times Literary Supplement)

A Better World is Possible:
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Social Progress

A study in contemporary philanthropy and an exclusive account of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s investment in a better world.

Published by Profile Books, 7 September 2017

‘This book is about 50 years of the Gatsby Foundation conceived, founded and funded by David Sainsbury, Britain’s most generous philanthropist. It is an inspiring story of human generosity, the power of engaged philanthropy, and how science and education can make the world better.’

– Sir Paul Nurse, former president of the Royal Society and chief executive of the Francis Crick Institute

‘An elegantly-written book about a foundation whose influence and example stretch well beyond its UK roots.’ (Paul Ramsbottom, Alliance)

Neural Architects: the Sainsbury
Wellcome Centre from idea to reality

Neural Architects documents a unique collaboration between a leading architectural practice, Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd, and a community of scientists seeking to understand how we think, feel, understand and remember. The outcome of this collaboration is an outstanding laboratory for the 21st century, the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre at University College London. This book celebrates the opening of the building in 2016.  Georgina Ferry’s text is based on interviews with all those involved, giving a rare insiders’ view of the process of creating a highly specialised building.

Published by Unicorn Press, 9 February 2017.

The Common Thread: A story of
science, politics, ethics and the
human genome

With John Sulston

Nobel prizewinner Sir John Sulston’s personal story of the battle to sequence the human genome and keep it as a common resource for all humankind. Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction.

Available as an e-book and print-on-demand paperback on & in both hardback and e-book formats on

Bantam Books UK hardback 2002, Corgi UK paperback 2003, Joseph Henry Press North American hardback 2003, editions in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

‘A riveting account of what was going on behind the scenes … anyone who is fascinated by the politics and ethics of research should read it.’ (Financial Times)
‘Unputdownable stuff… it is an insider’s story of one of the century’s greatest technopolitical ventures.’ (The Times)

A computer called LEO: Lyons Teashops and the world’s first office computer

The astonishing story of the British company that built a computer to run its catering business and became an IT pioneer and competitor for IBM. Selected for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, September 2003.

Available in paperback and e-book editions on

Fourth Estate UK hardback 2003, HarperPerennial UK paperback 2004.

‘One reads it with admiration and fascination, not just for Georgina Ferry’s cool, poised and elegant storytelling, but for the people—the visionaries, the scientists, the engineers—who … did something extraordinary because nobody had told them it couldn’t be done.’ (Daily Telegraph)
‘Ferry tells the tale of Leo with her usual crisp style… The book weaves a very human tale with strands of scientific and social history’ (The Guardian)

Max Perutz and the Secret of Life

The first biography of the refugee from Nazism who created the lab where Watson and Crick unravelled DNA, and who won the Nobel prize for understanding ‘the breathing molecule’ that makes blood red.

Available in paperback and as an e-book on

Chatto & Windus UK hardback July 2007; Pimlico UK paperback June 2008; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press North America hardback 2007.

‘The story of [Max’s search for scientific enlightenment] is the substance of this engrossing biography by Georgina Ferry, who is rapidly turning into the most interesting science writer going.’ (The Guardian)

EMBO in perspective: A half-century in the life sciences

The story of the journey from the study of molecules and microbes in the nuclear age to the growth and expansion of EMBO and the life sciences.

EMBO, 2014, hardback. Only available directly from EMBO, either as a book or a download.