Botany online 1996-2004. No further update, only historical document of botanical science!


David KIRK - Academic Adviser and Principal Author - Washington University - and Cecile STARR - Editor and Rewriter - Del Mar, Cal.

Biology Today

1972, 1975 ( Second Edition) : Random House Inc., New York

Contributing Consultants

David L. Kirk, professor of biology at Washington University, received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He previously was an associate professor at the University of Chicago. His research interests center on the molecular basis of embryonic determination: the process whereby cells become restricted to a single developmental potential. At present he is examining the problem in Volvox. He is a member of the editorial board of Physiological Zoology, and a member of the Society of Developmental Biologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Kirk is the person who put this book together. In a weak moment (he has since said that all book builders are mad), he agreed to help draw up a blueprint for the second edition of Biology Today and to act as overall academic adviser during its development. Somewhere along the line, he ended up writing Chapters 1, 3, 4, 10 through 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, and 29,and coauthoring Chapters 16, 21, 26, 27, and 28. He also was academic editor for the rest of the book, working to ensure conceptual integration from one chapter to the next. He additionally advised on the entire art program for the book and developed many of the illustrations and many of the interleaves.

Dr. Kirk writes the way he teaches - with intelligence, with insight, and with a reverence for life. Having taught biology for twelve years, he has acquired a knowledge of the kinds of questions students ask and, therefore, of the kinds of conceptual stumbling blocks they run up against. Perhaps part of his commitment to students derives from one of his own experiences as an undergraduate. He had a professor, he told us, who was once asked why something was the way it was. "Do not wna~: r~ WHYI"

It is to all biology students who have ever had a WHY suppressed that Dr. Kirk dedicates this book.