Molecular bioenergetics deals with the construction, function and regulation of the powerhouses of life. The present overview sketches scenes and actors, farsighted goals and daring hypotheses, meticulous tool-making, painstaking benchwork, lucky discovery, serious scepticism, emphatic believing and strong characters with weak and others with hard arguments, told from a personal, admittedly limited, perspective. Bioenergetics will blossom further with the search focused on both where there is bright light for ever-finer detail and the obvious dark spots for surprise and discovery.

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