Contributors examine the role of the fruit fly Drosophila and nematode worms in biology, troops of baboons in primatology, box and digital simulations of the movement of the earth’s crust in geology, and meteorological models in climatology. They analyze the intensive study of the prisoner’s dilemma in game theory, ritual in anthropology, the individual case in psychoanalytic research, and Athenian democracy in political theory. The contributors illuminate the processes through which particular organisms, cases, materials, or narratives become foundational to their fields, and they examine how these foundational exemplars—from the fruit fly to Freud’s Dora—shape the knowledge produced within their disciplines.
Rachel A. Ankeny
Angela N. H. Creager
Amy Dahan Dalmedico
E. Jane Albert Hubbard
Mary S. Morgan
M. Norton Wise
With sales of well over one million copies in North America alone, the commercial success of Gould's books now matches their critical acclaim. The Panda's Thumb will introduce a new generation of readers to this unique writer, who has taken the art of the scientific essay to new heights.
Were dinosaurs really dumber than lizards? Why, after all, are roughly the same number of men and women born into the world? What led the famous Dr. Down to his theory of mongolism, and its racist residue? What do the panda's magical "thumb" and the sea turtle's perilous migration tell us about imperfections that prove the evolutionary rule? The wonders and mysteries of evolutionary biology are elegantly explored in these and other essays by the celebrated natural history writer Stephen Jay Gould.
He chronicles his training in Boston and New York, his war career in the South Pacific, his most impassioned research projects, his work as an administrator in hospitals and medical schools, and even his experiences as a patient. Along the way, Thomas explores the complex relationships between research and practice, between words and meanings, between human error and human accomplishment, More than a magnificent autobiography, The Youngest Science is also a celebration and a warning--about the nature of medicine and about the future life of our planet.