Intuition

By Allegra Goodman

Contemporary

Fiction

Published by Atlantic Books

Shortlist 2009
Intuition

In a cancer research laboratory in Boston, one young scientist’s experiments look tantalisingly close to a dramatic breakthrough. However, as jealousy and doubt take hold of some of his colleagues, the whole laboratory is plunged into controversy.

Sandy Glass is a charismatic publicity-seeking doctor. Marion Mendelssohn is an idealistic and rigorous scientist. They are co-directors of a cancer research lab in Boston. As mentors and supervisors to their young protégés, they demand dedication and respect in a competitive environment where funding is scarce and results elusive. So when the experiments of Cliff Bannaker, one of the youngest members of their team, begin to produce encouraging results, suggesting the very real possibility of a major breakthrough, the entire lab becomes giddy with newfound expectation.

But jealousy soon breeds suspicion and Cliff's colleague - and girlfriend - Robin Decker begins to suspect the unthinkable: that his findings are fraudulent. As Robin makes her private doubts public and Cliff maintains his innocence, a life-changing controversy engulfs the lab and everyone in it…

Allegra Goodman's 'Intuition' explores workplace intrigue, scientific ardour and the moral consequences of a rush judgement. The result is a novel as revealing about human nature as it is about the real life of science.

Shortlist