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Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Donald Voet (1938-2023)

I just learned that Don Voet died on April 11th, 2023. Don and Judy Voet were the authors of one of the most successful biochemistry textbooks of all time and for a long time they were the editors of the journal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education (BAMBED). I've known Don for over thirty years and we met often at conferences.

He will be greatly missed. Here's an excerpt from the obituary from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology written by my old friend Charlotte Pratt who collaboated with me on my textbook and with Don and Judy Voet on theirs [Don Voet (1938-2023)].

Don’s work over the years demonstrated his conviction that biochemical knowledge has limited value unless it is transmitted fully and honestly to the next generation of scientists. His writing style was intentionally aimed at students of all levels, never dumbed down, and straightforward — a way to invite readers to enter a conversation among professional scientists.

Ever collegial, Don insisted on dropping names into the text, referring to the discoveries of specific researchers wherever possible and borrowing figures from the original publications rather than rendering simplified versions. In cases where visual information was lacking, Don created his own molecular graphics, at a time when modeling software was not accessible to amateurs.


Rupinder Sayal said...

Dear Prof. Moran,

Thank you for sharing your memories of Dr. Voet. The name-dropping is certainly rare in science textbooks and brings out the humans behind the discoveries. His textbook is certainly one of the most gorgeous for its beautiful illustrations. Dr. Voet will be missed by the many generations of biologists who will continue to be inspired by his books. My condolences to his family and loved ones.


DK said...

Of the Biochem textbooks that I read, Voet & Voet is probably most error-free. (Sorry, Larry, I never managed to have a hand on yours).