Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226078373 Published December 2013
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226078403 Published December 2013
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226078540 Published December 2013

Outsider Scientists

Routes to Innovation in Biology

Edited by Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich

Edited by Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich

392 pages | 22 halftones, 4 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226078373 Published December 2013
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226078403 Published December 2013
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226078540 Published December 2013
Outsider Scientists describes the transformative role played by “outsiders” in the growth of the modern life sciences. Biology, which occupies a special place between the exact and human sciences, has historically attracted many thinkers whose primary training was in other fields: mathematics, physics, chemistry, linguistics, philosophy, history, anthropology, engineering, and even literature. These outsiders brought with them ideas and tools that were foreign to biology, but which, when applied to biological problems, helped to bring about dramatic, and often surprising, breakthroughs.
           
This volume brings together eighteen thought-provoking biographical essays of some of the most remarkable outsiders of the modern era, each written by an authority in the respective field. From Noam Chomsky using linguistics to answer questions about brain architecture, to Erwin Schrödinger contemplating DNA as a physicist would, to Drew Endy tinkering with Biobricks to create new forms of synthetic life, the outsiders featured here make clear just how much there is to gain from disrespecting conventional boundaries. Innovation, it turns out, often relies on importing new ideas from other fields. Without its outsiders, modern biology would hardly be recognizable.

 

Peter Galison, Harvard University
“Biology is a constantly shifting chimera—so we learn from this remarkable set of essays curated by Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich. But unlike the Greek mythic creature (lion, goat, snake), biology, these authors show, has been even more polymorphic, and in ever new ways: biology is put together from linguistic, philosophical, and literary practices, and involves skills borrowed from physics, computation, and chemistry, among other fields. Anyone interested in biology should read this book—and so should all of us who want to understand outside thinking as a crucial driver of innovation.”

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: Biology

Events in Biology

Keep Informed

JOURNALs in Biology