Cover image for Innovations in biology
Innovations in biology
Walters, Martin.
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1999]

Physical Description:
ix, 345 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Overview -- Chronology -- Biographical sketches -- Directory of organizations -- Selected works for further reading -- World Wide Web sites -- Dictionary of terms and concepts -- Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH307.2 .I56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



A biologist from 1900 would hardly recognize the science of biology today: cloning, the rapid extinction of species, the unraveling of the mysteries of the cell, the structure of DNA. Biology is raising a host of issues involving ethics, religion, and the very notion of what it means to be a human being.

Innovations in Biology makes these often bewildering and complex discoveries comprehensible for students and general readers. Inside, you will find: a discussion of the emergence of genetic engineering and biotechnology
-- more than 1,200 biological terms and concepts
-- a detailed chronology of milestones in biology
-- suggested works for further reading
-- an annotated directory of major international organizations
-- index

Author Notes

Martin Walters has authored numerous publications on natural history, botany, zoology, and the environment.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the last century, biology has progressed from a science that looks at the big picture of life's interconnectedness to one that examines life on a molecular, even atomic, level. This volume in ABC-CLIO's new Innovations in Science series uses several formats to look at biology in the twentieth century: narrative, chronology, biographical sketches, annotated bibliographies, a glossary, and resource lists. The first part of the book begins with an overview describing the major events and personalities in the field of biology. It is divided into sections that explore technological advances, genetics, biochemistry and cell biology, ecology and animal behavior, and evolution. The overview is followed by a chronology of significant events and discoveries from 1900 to early 1999. Most entries here are a paragraph in length and include exact dates, significant names, and the importance of the event. Biographical sketches of 30 prominent biologists, 10 of whom are women, follow. The biographies are very brief and many include photographs. Next is an annotated list of organizations, with addresses, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail and Web addresses. Annotations note the purpose, history, and main publications of each organization. The list of 70 books for further reading is also annotated, and it includes titles by many of the important people mentioned in the first three sections. The final chapter annotates 42 Web sites representing all the major areas of biology. Part two has the "Dictionary of Terms," a list of Nobel Prize winners in physiology and medicine, and the index. The dictionary does a nice job of explaining terms beyond a mere definition and has some see references. The list of prizewinners has a brief sentence about each project that won the Nobel. There are a few criticisms. The size of the book as compared to its scope means some important events and people are not mentioned; for example, the invention of the heart pump (1935), the first heart transplant (1967), or the first artificial heart (1982), although the first heart-lung transplant (1969) is listed. Most of the Nobel winners are not in the biography section. Because there are several more-inclusive reference tools on scientists, it might have been better to forgo the biographies and give more space to the chronology and annotated lists (especially the Web sites), which make this volume unique. Smaller photos would have sufficed in many instances and left more area for text. One error is misnaming Dr. Henry J. Heimlich, developer of the Heimlich maneuver, as Jay. The chronology and annotated lists make this book special. High-school libraries should have this valuable reference source. Public and academic libraries will also find it a useful tool. Other titles in the Innovations in Science series are Innovations in Astronomy (1-57607-114-6) and Innovations in Earth Sciences (1-57607-115-4).

Library Journal Review

This overview of the advances and developments in biology during the 20th century begins with a 20-page narrative review of the history of biology; the next 40 pages contain a chronological listing of major events in biology, followed by 30 very brief biographical sketches and a list of biology-related organizations and addresses. The first part of this work ends with a list of recommended readings, while the last 184 pages consist of a dictionary of approximately 1200 biological terms and concepts. The descriptions are very brief but well illustrated. While this work succeeds in its purpose as an overview of 20th-century biology and may be useful as an occasional reference tool, much of the information covered is available in current science encyclopedias. Recommended only for libraries wanting a very basic, single-volume summary of contemporary biology.ÄEric D. Albright, Duke Medical Ctr. Lib., Durham, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The information provided in this publication, one of four titles in the "Innovations in Science" series addressing issues of the 20th century, can be found in other encyclopedic sources. The book has two major parts. The six chapters of part 1 contain an overview of biology (including topics on animal behavior, genes, and cell development), a time line of key events, biographical sketches of famous scientists and their contributions, reading lists, an annotated directory of organizations in biology, and Web sites. Part 2 consists of a dictionary of terms and ideas, and a list of Nobel Prize winners in medicine and physiology. Entries are brief and concise; reader aids include see references. Occasional quotations by scientists constitute a unique feature. Considering the limited information this source provides, elementary schools and small public libraries with limited funding and in need of information in biology may find it useful. O. C. Riley; Louisiana State University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Part I
1 Overviewp. 3
2 Chronologyp. 23
3 Biographical Sketchesp. 65
4 Directory of Organizationsp. 87
5 Selected Works for Further Readingp. 109
6 World Wide Web Sitesp. 121
Part II
7 Dictionary of Terms and Conceptsp. 133
Appendix Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicinep. 317
Indexp. 325