Rebels Mavericks And Heretics In Biology

Author: Oren Harman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300150547
Size: 56.85 MB
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This book is the first devoted to modern biology's innovators and iconoclasts: men and women who challenged prevailing notions in their fields. Some of these scientists were Nobel Prize winners, some were considered cranks or gadflies, some were in fact wrong. The stories of these stubborn dissenters are individually fascinating. Taken together, they provide unparalleled insights into the role of dissent and controversy in science and especially the growth of biological thought over the past century. Each of the book's nineteen specially commissioned chapters offers a detailed portrait of the intellectual rebellion of a particular scientist working in a major area of biology--genetics, evolution, embryology, ecology, biochemistry, neurobiology, and virology as well as others. An introduction by the volume's editors and an epilogue by R. C. Lewontin draw connections among the case studies and illuminate the nonconforming scientist's crucial function of disturbing the comfort of those in the majority. By focusing on the dynamics and impact of dissent rather than on winners who are credited with scientific advances, the book presents a refreshingly original perspective on the history of the life sciences. Scientists featured in this volume: Alfred Russel Wallace Hans DrieschWilhelm JohannsenRaymond Arthur DartC. D. DarlingtonRichard GoldschmidtBarbara McClintockOswald T. AveryRoger SperryLeon CroizatVero Copner Wynne-EdwardsPeter MitchellHoward TeminMotoo KimuraWilliam D. HamiltonCarl WoeseStephen Jay GouldThelma RowellDaniel S. Simberloff

Outsider Scientists

Author: Oren Harman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022607854X
Size: 76.61 MB
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Outsider Scientists describes the transformative role played by “outsiders” in the growth of the modern life sciences. Biology, which occupies a special place between the exact and human sciences, has historically attracted many thinkers whose primary training was in other fields: mathematics, physics, chemistry, linguistics, philosophy, history, anthropology, engineering, and even literature. These outsiders brought with them ideas and tools that were foreign to biology, but which, when applied to biological problems, helped to bring about dramatic, and often surprising, breakthroughs. This volume brings together eighteen thought-provoking biographical essays of some of the most remarkable outsiders of the modern era, each written by an authority in the respective field. From Noam Chomsky using linguistics to answer questions about brain architecture, to Erwin Schrödinger contemplating DNA as a physicist would, to Drew Endy tinkering with Biobricks to create new forms of synthetic life, the outsiders featured here make clear just how much there is to gain from disrespecting conventional boundaries. Innovation, it turns out, often relies on importing new ideas from other fields. Without its outsiders, modern biology would hardly be recognizable.

Wilhelm Reich Biologist

Author: James E. Strick
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 067428688X
Size: 63.33 MB
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Wilhelm Reich’s experiments in the 1930s with cutting-edge light microscopy and time-lapse micro-cinematography were considered discredited, but not because of shoddy lab technique, as has been claimed. Scientific opposition to Reich’s experiments, James Strick argues, grew out of resistance to his unorthodox sexual theories and Marxist leanings.

The Science Of Human Perfection

Author: Nathaniel Comfort
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300169914
Size: 60.20 MB
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Almost daily we hear news stories, advertisements, and scientific reports promising that genetic medicine will make us live longer, enable doctors to identify and treat diseases before they harm us, and individualize our medical care. But surprisingly, a century ago eugenicists were making the same promises. This book traces the history of the promises of medical genetics and of the medical dimension of eugenics. While mindful of the benefits of genetic medicine, the book also considers social and ethical issues that cast troublesome shadows over these fields. Keeping his focus on America, Nathaniel Comfort introduces the community of scientists, physicians, and public health workers who have contributed to the development of medical genetics from the nineteenth century to today. He argues that medical genetics is closely related to eugenics, and indeed that the two cannot be fully understood separately. He also carefully examines how the desire to relieve suffering and to improve ourselves genetically, though noble, may be subverted. History makes clear that as patients and consumers we must take ownership of genetic medicine, using it intelligently, knowledgeably, and skeptically.

The Man Who Invented The Chromosome

Author: Oren Solomon HARMAN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674013339
Size: 46.30 MB
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Harman follows Darlington's path from bleak prospects to world fame, showing how, within the most miniscule of worlds, he sought answers to the biggest questions--how species originate, how variation occurs, how Nature makes her way from deep past to unknown future. But Darlington did not stop there: Chromosomes held within their tiny confines untold, dark truths about man and his culture. This passionate conviction led the once famed Darlington down a path of rebuke, isolation, and finally obscurity.

Dreamers Visionaries And Revolutionaries In The Life Sciences

Author: Oren Harman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022656990X
Size: 72.10 MB
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What are the conditions that foster true novelty and allow visionaries to set their eyes on unknown horizons? What have been the challenges that have spawned new innovations, and how have they shaped modern biology? In Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences, editors Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich explore these questions through the lives of eighteen exemplary biologists who had grand and often radical ideas that went far beyond the run-of-the-mill science of their peers. From the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who coined the word “biology” in the early nineteenth century, to the American James Lovelock, for whom the Earth is a living, breathing organism, these dreamers innovated in ways that forced their contemporaries to reexamine comfortable truths. With this collection readers will follow Jane Goodall into the hidden world of apes in African jungles and Francis Crick as he attacks the problem of consciousness. Join Mary Lasker on her campaign to conquer cancer and follow geneticist George Church as he dreams of bringing back woolly mammoths and Neanderthals. In these lives and the many others featured in these pages, we discover visions that were sometimes fantastical, quixotic, and even threatening and destabilizing, but always a challenge to the status quo.

Darwin S Gift

Author: Francisco Ayala
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309102316
Size: 44.55 MB
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With the publication in 1859 of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Charles Darwin established evolution by common descent as the dominant scientific explanation for nature's diversity. This was to be his gift to science and society; at last, we had an explanation for how life came to be on Earth. Scientists agree that the evolutionary origin of animals and plants is a scientific conclusion beyond reasonable doubt. They place it beside such established concepts as the roundness of the earth, its revolution around the sun, and the molecular composition of matter. That evolution has occurred, in other words, is a fact. Yet as we approach the bicentennial celebration of Darwin's birth, the world finds itself divided over the truth of evolutionary theory. Consistently endorsed as "good science" by experts and overwhelmingly accepted as fact by the scientific community, it is not always accepted by the public, and our schools continue to be battlegrounds for this conflict. From the Tennessee trial of a biology teacher who dared to teach Darwin's theory to his students in 1925 to Tammy Kitzmiller's 2005 battle to keep intelligent design out of the Dover district schools in Pennsylvania, it's clear that we need to cut through the propaganda to quell the cacophony of raging debate. With the publication of Darwin's Gift, a voice at once fresh and familiar brings a rational, measured perspective to the science of evolution. An acclaimed evolutionary biologist with a background in theology, Francisco Ayala offers clear explanations of the science, reviews the history that led us to ratify Darwin's theories, and ultimately provides a clear path for a confused and conflicted public.

The Price Of Altruism George Price And The Search For The Origins Of Kindness

Author: Oren Harman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393339998
Size: 60.23 MB
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Describes the intellectual journey of eccentric American genius George Price, who tried to answer the evolutionary riddle of why people are nice, and eventually gave away all his belongings and took his own life in a squatter's flat.

The Lagoon

Author: Armand Marie Leroi
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698170393
Size: 76.32 MB
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A brilliant study of Aristotle as biologist The philosophical classics of Aristotle loom large over the history of Western thought, but the subject he most loved was biology. He wrote vast volumes about animals. He described them, classified them, told us where and how they live and how they develop in the womb or in the egg. He founded a science. It can even be said that he founded science itself. In The Lagoon, acclaimed biologist Armand Marie Leroi recovers Aristotle’s science. He revisits Aristotle’s writings and the places where he worked. He goes to the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos to see the creatures that Aristotle saw, where he saw them. He explores Aristotle’s observations, his deep ideas, his inspired guesses—and the things he got wildly wrong. He shows how Aristotle’s science is deeply intertwined with his philosophical system and reveals that he was not only the first biologist, but also one of the greatest. The Lagoon is both a travelogue and a study of the origins of science. And it shows how a philosopher who lived almost two millennia ago still has so much to teach us today. From the Hardcover edition.

Compliant Rebels

Author: Hyeran Jo
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316432432
Size: 41.13 MB
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Seventeen million people have died in civil wars and rebel violence has disrupted the lives of millions more. In a fascinating contribution to the active literature on civil wars, this book finds that some contemporary rebel groups actually comply with international law amid the brutality of civil conflicts around the world. Rather than celebrating the existence of compliant rebels, the author traces the cause of this phenomenon and argues that compliant rebels emerge when rebel groups seek legitimacy in the eyes of domestic and international audiences that care about humanitarian consequences and human rights. By examining rebel groups' different behaviors such as civilian killing, child soldiering, and allowing access to detention centers, Compliant Rebels offers key messages and policy lessons about engaging rebel groups with an eye toward reducing civilian suffering in war zones.