One impetus for this project is the recognition of a growing demand among instructors for a book that departs from fact-stuffed textbooks and instead engages students in the discovery process at a personal level.
- Emphasizes the process of discovery through interviews and key experiments.
- Written by a best-selling author.
- Provides an in-depth, conversational look at the science behind several "hot topics" in biology.
- Each chapter traces the beginnings of the field with stories of how serendipity and scientific inquiry intertwine.
- Presents the background to a field by including the scientific literature-so the reader does not have to do a literature search or plow through a review article.
- Many essays introduce the work of overlooked scientists or "unsung heroes." Alexey Olovnikov (telomeres), Leroy Steven (stem cells), to name a few.
- Also, well-known scientists are interviewed: Stanley Miller, Carl Woese, John Gearhart, and others.
- The essays show how ideas interact and coalesce from different lines of research.
- Highlights the role of the media in interpreting science for the public.