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BOOK REVIEW

Forced to Choose

et al., Roald Hoffmann

EDWARD O.WILSON

American scientific icon, author of The Ants and a host of other classics including one that made our list, The Insect Societies

The books I would consider most influential in my scientific life were all read while a teenage student at the University of Alabama, during my intellectually most formative years. They were, first and foremost, the canon of the New Synthesis of evolution, notably Theodore Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species, Ernst Mayr's Systematics and the Origin of Species, and George G. Simpson's Tempo and Mode in Evolution, which together brought the study of evolution back to nature and made natural history scientific in the modern sense. I was also enchanted by Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life?, which opened a romantic vista of reductionistic biology and influenced many molecular biologists to come, but I did not follow.




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