American biology--and modern biology--came of age in the years between the two world wars. By all measures, the field expanded remarkably rapidly and put the United States on equal terms with Europe. Even more important than the growth in numbers of scientists (including women), societies, and labs was the expansion in the scope of biological research. Well-established areas of biology like paleontology and cytology found new questions to address and new techniques with which to answer them; new subfields--from radiation biology to reproductive science to human behavior--flourished. Genetics became an organizing principle across the field.
Biologists and historians will find this collection of twelve original essays a stimulating overview of critical developments in twentieth-century biological sciences. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Marilyn Ogilvie, Leo Laporte, Adele E. Clarke, Hamilton Cravens, Gregg Mitman, Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., Sharon Kingsland, Garland E. Allen, Diane B. Paul, and John Beatty.