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What is Life? The Next Fifty Years: Speculations on the Future of Biology Hardcover – September 29, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0521455091 ISBN-10: 052145509X Edition: First

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; First edition (September 29, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052145509X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521455091
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,469,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In celebration of physicist Erwin Schrodinger's classic book What Is Life? (1945), which consolidated ideas from physics, biology, and chemistry and served as an early inspiration to the development of molecular biology, a diverse group of well-known scientists?physiologists, evolutionary biologists, physicists, neuroscientists, ecologists, and mathematicians?expound further on Schrodinger's question and make predictions about the future of biology. Although all the essays address a piece of Schrodinger's work, there is little coherence in the collection, and the future of biology is predicted weakly, if at all. The biology here is "human biology," with some discussion of future breakthroughs in the study of the brain: mind, behavior, and language. Lewis Wolpert's fascinating essay on the interface of development and genetics addresses the book's theme most specifically. Because many of the essays are difficult to follow and interpret, this book is not for general or even informed readers unless they are well versed in physics, molecular biology, neuroscience, and mathematics. Recommended for large academic collections only.?Constance Rinaldo, Dartmouth Coll. Biomedical Libs., Hanover, N.H.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"...if you want one slim book that contains as many stimulating ideas as a small library, this is it." New Scientist

"An absolute benefit of such a format is that the authors share with us thoughts that would not appear in their more scientific papers. We are treated, therefore, to a spectrum of viewpoints...this is an exciting collection of thoughtful essays, which are guaranteed to be engaging and stimulating." Thomas W. Traut, American Scientist

"...an informative and clarifying review of some of the most challenging questions of current biological science. The editors should be credited for their initiative, as well as for excellent editorial work. It has resulted in a very thought-provoking book that is certainly accessible to a wide audience....worthwhile reading for those who want to broaden their view of life." Börge Ekstig, Quarterly Review of Biology

"...a volume very much in keeping with the spirit of Schrödinger's work, both in its treatment of grand themes and in its application to biology of ideas from physics. It contains some excellent summaries of some exciting areas of biology, pitched at a popular level, and should command a wide readership." Danny Yee, on the World Wide Web

"WHhat is Life?: The Next Fiftey Years is insightful and though-provoking, highly recommended reading for both the professional biology student, and the non-specialist general reader." James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael on December 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an important and wonderful book. I have re-read many of the essays several times. The editors did a terrific job. You don't have to have read What Is Life to enjoy and learn from this book (skip the S.J. Gould essay, it's the only worthless one in the book). When my house catches on fire, this is one of the half-dozen books I will grab.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A facinating journey of physicists, molecular biologists, geneticists, etc. trying to capture the power of speculation as Erwin Schroedinger did 50 years earlier. Fans of Steven J. Gould will find the (sometimes contrary) opinions of other learned men of science equally stimulating as his own chapter.
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