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Unfinished Business: A Biologist in the Latter Half of the 20th Century Paperback – July 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Wheatmark (July 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604949619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604949612
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,415,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Becker on September 1, 2013
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Unfinished Business, A Brilliant Journey
In this book is depicted the journey through life of a 1st generation son of immigrants. He is one of many, many others, but his achievements far outstrip the average 1st gen American. In the preface he attributes his success to access to education, which undoubtedly contributed, but many with the same access didn't become world famous biologists or world famous anything else.
In this book two concurrent journeys are depicted. The dominant one is the scientific journey on the road to discovery of the origination, growth and development of pigment cells, specifically in tadpoles, frogs and probably birds and maybe humans as well. The second one describes the various countries, their geological and architectural attractions as well as the biological labs and their resident scientists, contemporaneous colleagues and his ex-graduate students. He frequently was invited to lecture and/or collaborate on new projects with these scientists. The second journey includes his travels to many different countries, but primarily to Italy and Japan. Bagnara's prose is vivid enough to permit the reader to vicariously share in these travel experiences.
The book is intended for general consumption, but without some knowledge of cell biology it's not always easy going. This is manifest in the 30 item glossary at the end of the book. The reader might have benefited had this feature been referred to in the text. Nevertheless it might serve as a primer for those interested in scientific methodology. While it is not made explicit Bagnara utilizes this method, observation-theory-hypothesis-test-new observation. Thus any budding scientist could benefit from a reading of this book as could any lover of the outdoors and its animal inhabitants. Any person who wishes to inspire a youngster toward most any achievement through persistence and education should gift him/her with a copy of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By schaenl on August 20, 2013
From a personal point of view, this book was a delightful read! When finished I felt I had known Lou and Joe for a long time. I related to the changes in University life that have occured since the mid fifties. It offers a steady flow of good reasons to persue a University career and insight into the opportunities available. The book is well written, of interest to students past and present as well as travellers wanting to discover new places on their own, a guide book for a life well lived.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William C. Thornton on August 16, 2013
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While full of scientific information about his research, this book gives the reader an opportunity to look at a life spent in pursuit of science. The shared memories of trips and friendships enhance the book by showing a scientist's social side. I am not a scientist, but the book did lead me to marvel at how much of scientific research seems esoteric to non-academics but leads to important knowledge that enhances our lives. The book made me think about how we become what we are, both on a physiologic and human scale.

I believe that Joe Bagnara's book is a great read for those pursuing a career in any science related fied, and those who are interested in how research and academia work towards a better understanding of who we are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon E. on July 31, 2013
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The author's memoirs illustrates how a career in teaching and research can lead to a successful profession as well as a rich and well-traveled life. If I had read this book back when I was in grad school, I might not have dropped out -- I might have seen the possibilities for academe to provide the kind of life that I wanted. I'd recommend this to any young person thinking of an academic career -- or for anybody fascinated by how people get where they are today from very different beginnings.
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Bagnara describes with colorful anecdotes a lifetime of teaching and learning with descriptions of lifelong friendships made around the world, cultural adventures abroad and accounts of memorable scientific discoveries. This is an eminently readable and entertaining account of personal and scientific growth and fulfillment.
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