Biology and the Future of Man

Biology and the Future of Man

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Product details

  • Hardback | 960 pages
  • 150 x 230mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.figs.
  • 0195005643
  • 9780195005646

Review Text

It dawns on you early in this tour de force of biology now and in the future that in order to summarize developments in every field the editor has suppressed the names of investigators. Imagine reading about the genetic code without simultaneously reading Watson and Crick, or imprinting without Lorenz. It's great. One suddenly realizes that it is information, not personality, which is central to the course of science. Information is certainly what you get in this thousand-page work - the first half devoted to basic studies, the second to applications in medicine, surgery, population studies, etc. No field has been overlooked be it in taxonomy or transduction in bacteria. In style the writing is crisp, straightforward, and high-level (Scientific American or higher). Chapters on biochemistry use formulae and terms which will not be understood by laymen, but chapters on physiology, behavior, and most of the applied sections are accessible to all. One of the refreshing qualities of the work is the emphasis on unsolved questions, some perhaps within reach in the next decade, many others profound in complexity. In approaching solutions the editor stresses new approaches or older techniques again in fashion. If he is to be faulted it might be because there is too pervasive an optimism, a belief that the power and rationale of the biological sciences can solve both its own and society's problems. (Kirkus Reviews)show more