Best Life Sciences Writing

At yesterday’s panel on “Writing in the Life Sciences,” we asked our panelists to name examples of what they consider to be excellent life sciences writing–the scientists whose writing they consider peerless. Here are some of their recommendations:

Professor Hauber recommended anything by Tom Seeley:

  • Honeybee Ecology: A Study of Adaptation in Social Life (Princeton University Press)
  • The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honeybee Colonies (Harvard University Press)
  • Honeybee Democracy (Princeton University Press)
  • Following the Wild Bees: The Craft and Science of Beehunting (Princeton University Press)
  • The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild (Princeton University Press)

Professor Fischer recommended the following two books:

  • Principles of Brain Evolution by Georg F. Striedter (Oxford University Press).
  • The Origins of Genome Architecture by Michael Lynch (Sinauer Associates).

Richard Dawkins was mentioned by both panelists and participants as a particular favorite. Some panelists felt that the best writing on life sciences is actually written by non-scientists.

The Library has many anthologies of science writing. From 2000 to 2012, Ecco Press annually published the excellent series Best American Science Writing, and in 2008 Oxford University Press published The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing.

Happy writing everyone!

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