What I Require From Life: Writings on science and life from J.B.S. Haldane

Front Cover
Krishna Dronamraju
OUP Oxford, Jan 22, 2009 - Science - 272 pages
J. B. S. Haldane (1892-64) was one of the scientific giants of the 20th century. A polymath who made important contributions to sciences ranging from physiology to genetics and biochemistry, he was also a highly skilled writer and an extraordinary character - brilliant, witty, idealistic, funny, and pugnacious. What I Require From Life is a compilation of his popular scientific essays written from the 1940s to last years of his life, that reflect not only his masterful ability to communicate scientific understanding, but also his deep commitment to socialism. The essays included here fall into two groups; those written by Haldane during the 1940s when he embraced Marxism, and those written during his last years in India (1957-64), and they range from An Autobiography in Brief (written three years before his death), to his Marxist view of evolution The Chicken or the Egg? , to his poignant poem Cancer is a Funny Thing. Edited with an introduction by Haldane's last graduate pupil, Professor Krishna Dronamraju, this collection of thought-provoking and beautifully-written science writing also comes with a Preface written by the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who provides a personal perspective on Haldane's unique place in 20th century science.
 

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Contents

Foreword by Sir Arthur C Clarke CBE Colombo Sri Lanka
How to write a popular scientific article
Why I am a materialist
Adventures of words
What scientists in Russia are doing
Averages
9
11
What is the fourth dimension?
Relativity
Matter and energy
How we measured the atom
Essays from the Indian Period 195764
Hitting the moon
The dog in the sputnik
What I want to know about Gagarin

Is man a machine?
Breathing
Why are you lefthanded?
Domestic animals
Overcrowding at the
Life slows down for winter
Bird migration
Why the robin sings
How bees communicate
The mysterious eels
Movies for toads
The chicken or the egg?
The mathematics of evolution
Back to the water
The common cold
Medical measurements
The differential calculus
Some autumn stars
The Pleiades and Orion
Some neighbouring stars
The seven rishis
Jyestha
Simplifying astronomy
New light on memory
Relations between biology and other sciences
Darwin in Indian perspective
Keeping cool
Drugresistant bacteria
Glossary
The Milky
Some statistical adventures 39 Some reflections on nonviolence 40 Science and floods 41 Colliery explosion 42 Deep mines 43 The sound of one ha...
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Professor Krishna Dronamraju is President of the Foundation for Genetic Research in Houston, USA. He was a pupil and close associate of J.B.S. Haldane in India. Professor Dronamraju's previously edited books include Haldane's Daedalus Revisited, Selected Genetic Papers of JBS Haldane, and Haldane and Modern Biology. He was an Advisor to the White House and served on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and is currently a Visiting Professor of the University of Paris, the Albert Schweitzer International University of Geneva, and an Honorary Research Fellow of University College, London.

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