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On Becoming a Biologist
by John Janovy
“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 ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 153 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Bison Books
(first published 1985)
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If you are thinking of (like me) becoming a biologist—read it. Even if you aren't, this book should be able to appeal to anyone with even a slight interest in biological sciences. Janovy does not coddle the reader—he tells you the good and bad of biology with blinking. He offers very good advice and of course stresses, do what you love regardless of money and notoriety.
This book has career advice and so much more! It is an essay on the naturalist ethic, an honest look at the values of a professional or amateur biologist and a discussion of the responsibilities of a biologist. This is a wise and heartfelt invitation to spend your life studying life.
Excellent read on the modern meaning of biology and its role in society. Both semi-autobiographical & thoughtful. I'm interested in reading the memoir mentioned in this book ("Yellow Legs"), but it seems to be out of print, unfortunately.