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The Heritage of Experimental Embryology: Hans Spemann and the Organizer (Monographs on the History and Philosophy of Biology) 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0195051100
ISBN-10: 0195051106
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is an extremely lucid, authoritative, thorough and well-illustrated account of the experiments and how they came into being, written by a most distinguished and much-respected embryologist....Hamburger's book represents a much-needed corrective to the still largely unexplained process of historical decay of an important body of biological knowledge. As such, it ought to provide for today's up-and-coming biologist one of the most challenging and surprising reads he is likely to come across." --The Times Higher Education Supplement

"Experimental embryology was one of the most exciting fields of research in biology in the early part of this century . . . . In Europe the leader in this field was Hans Spemann and of all Spemann's research none had a greater impact than the so-called organizer experiment. Viktor Hamburger has taken this experiment and the work it inspired as the central theme of a book describing what might be called the golden age of experimental embryology . . . . The story of Spemann's scientific work is fascinating and well worth telling." --Science

"Everyone interested in developmental biology, especially scientists and historians, ought to read this valuable newest addition to Oxford's outstanding monograph series on the history and philosophy of biology." --Choice

"Will appeal to all who are concerned with embryology and developmental biology and their history, to those interested in the development of experimentation in embryology at the end of the last century and the beginning of this, and indeed to all who are interested in the history of biology more generally during this period. It will be of particular value to the young biologists who do not read German well enough to read Spemann's work in its original language. This book is itself extraordinarily well written; Hamburger writes in English more beautifully than do most of us whose native language it is. When the content is to some degree technical, the terms are defined with clarity. . . . [Viktor Hamburger] has published the book that I have been awaiting for a half century. Biology and the history of biology have been waiting for it too, and have reached a new level of maturity and excellence as a result of its appearance." --The Quarterly Review of Biology

"An authoritative appraisal of Spemann's research and his legacy written by a distinguished embryologist of our time. --Bulletin of the History of Medicine

"This fascinating book by Viktor Hamburger describes experimental embryology in the Spemann lab during the 1920s and 1930s. There can be no one better qualified to give a personal account of that area, and Dr. Hamburger has done a superb job, paying great attention to detail and yet making the book extremely readable and enjoyable. . . .I think that every institution where embryology is taught will wish to have a copy of this splendid book, and those who teach embryology will find it an essential reference work." --TINS

"How often does a book prove to be delightful, fascinating, thought-provoking, and informative? Viktor Hamburger's saga of the German developmental biologist Hans Spemann has all of these qualities. I highly recommend it to developmental biologists, historians of science, and anyone interested in understanding how a long-term research program on a major biological problem was actually carried out." --BioScience--

"Hamburger has written a 'real' history, producing well-documented, critical, and carefully conceputalized story. He provides a special treat for the reader when he discusses his recollections of Spemann's lab, but he cleverly separates the personal material from the documented historical text by placing the former in italic print. Another valuable feature of the book is its careful attention to the techniques, organisms used, and the practical doing of science. . . .This is a fine addition to Oxford's growing series of outstanding monographs in the history and philosophy of biology" --Journal of the History of Biology

Historians of science should be grateful that a practicing scientist has taken such care to record and evaluate the pivotal issues of his field of work. Hamburger has made it easier for others, who do not have his experience and understanding of the particulars, to enter and to ask additional questions of Spemann and his heritage." ISIS

"Historians of science should be grateful that a practicing scientist has taken such care to record and evaluate the pivotal issues of his field of work. Hamburger has made it easier for others, who do not have his experience and understanding of the particulars, to enter and to ask additional questions of Spemann and his heritage."--ISIS

About the Author

Viktor Hamburger is at Washington University (Emeritus).
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