'We share a common bond with even the most bizarre beetle of the Peruvian rain forest', asserts John Janovy Jr. 'A belief in that common bond might, in fact, be the most fundamental characteristic of a biologist'. And biologists see the worth of a plant or an animal not in monetary terms but in its contribution to our understanding of life. The famous naturalist brings a humanist's vision to this superbly written book. On Becoming a Biologist is grounded in reality, cognizant of practical matters (education and jobs) as well as the ideals that inform the profession – a reverence for life and a responsibility to humankind and its future. Janovy draws on his experiences as a graduate and postdoctoral student, on his rewarding relationships with teachers, and on his fieldwork as a naturalist. This edition includes new information throughout the book regarding pertinent events, issues, and changes in technology.
"A concise, readable picture of biology as it is practiced in the field, the laboratory and the classroom. [Janovy] moves easily from philosophy to politics to petri dish [...] This book will be appreciated by biologists as well as those who want to know how a scientist's mind works."
– New York Times Book Review
"A charming book [...] Frank, open, and a pleasure to read."
– Noel Perrin, Civilization
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John Janovy Jr. is Varner Professor at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and director of the Cedar Point Biological Station. He is the author of Keith County Journal and Back in Keith County, both available in Bison Books editions.