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Following on from the success of his two previous books, Remarkable Mathematicians and Remarkable Physicists, Ioan James now profiles 38 remarkable biologists from the last 400 years. The emphasis is on their varied life-stories, not on the details of their achievements, but when read in sequence their biographies, which are organised chronologically, convey in human terms something of the way in which biology has developed over the years. Scientific and biological detail is kept to a minimum, inviting any reader interested in biology to follow this easy path through the subject's modern development.
1. John Ray 1627-1705, Maria Sibylla Merian 1647-1717, Sir Hans Sloane 1660-1753, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek 1632-1723;
2. Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur 1683-1757, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon 1707-1788, Carolus Linnaeus 1707-1778, John Hunter 1728-1793;
3. Sir Joseph Banks 1743-1820, Jean Baptiste Lamarck 1744-1829, Georges Cuvier 1769-1832, Alexander von Humboldt 1769-1859;
4. Robert Brown 1773-1858, John James Audubon 1785-1851, Sir William Hooker 1785-1865, Geoffroy de Saint-Hilaire 1799-1853;
5. John Gould 1804-1880, Sir Richard Owen 1804-1892, Louis Agassiz 1807-1873, Charles Darwin 1809-1882;
6. Asa Gray 1810-1888, Sir Joseph Hooker 1817-1911, Richard Spruce 1817-1893, Sir Francis Galton 1822-1911;
7. Gregor Mendel 1822-1884, Thomas Henry Huxley 1825-1895, Beatrix Potter 1866-1943;
8. Sir Ronald Fisher 1890-1962, John Burdon Sanderson Haldane 1892-1964, Alfred Kinsey 1894-1956, Dame Honor Fell 1900-1952, Emperor Hirohito of Japan 1901-1989;
9. Barbara McClintock 1902-1992, Nikolaas Tinbergen 1907-1988, Rachel Carson 1907-1964, Francis Crick 1916-2005, William Hamilton 1936-2000.
Ioan James is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and has had a distinguished career as a research mathematician. In recent years he has become interested in the history and development of scientific disciplines and the scientists involved. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1968.
'The subjects ... selected for inclusion are certainly all worthy candidates. ... In providing extensive references to full biographical treatments of his subjects, James will, hopefully, provoke his readers to delve further into the fascinating history of biology.' Journal of Natural History '... provides useful snapshots of key figures in the history of biology.' Australian Book Review