The Biologist's Imagination: Innovation in the Biosciences

Overview

Scholars and policymakers alike agree that innovation in the biosciences is key to future growth. The field continues to shift and expand, and it is certainly changing the way people live their lives in a variety of ways. With a large share of federal research dollars devoted to the biosciences, the field is just beginning to live up to its billing as a source of innovation, economic productivity and growth. Vast untapped potential to imagine and innovate exists in the ...

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The Biologist's Imagination: Innovation in the Biosciences

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Overview

Scholars and policymakers alike agree that innovation in the biosciences is key to future growth. The field continues to shift and expand, and it is certainly changing the way people live their lives in a variety of ways. With a large share of federal research dollars devoted to the biosciences, the field is just beginning to live up to its billing as a source of innovation, economic productivity and growth. Vast untapped potential to imagine and innovate exists in the biosciences given new tools now widely available.

In The Biologist's Imagination, William Hoffman and Leo Furcht examine the history of innovation in the biosciences, tracing technological innovation from the late eighteenth century to the present and placing special emphasis on how and where technology evolves. Place is often key to innovation, from the early industrial age to the rise of the biotechnology industry in the second half of the twentieth century. The book uses the distinct history of bioinnovation to discuss current trends as they relate to medicine, agriculture, energy, industry, ecosystems, and climate. Fast-moving research fields like genomics, synthetic biology, stem cell research, neuroscience, bioautomation and bioprinting are accelerating these trends.

Hoffman and Furcht argue that our system of bioscience innovation is itself in need of innovation. It needs to adapt to the massive changes brought about by converging technologies and the globalization of higher education, workforce skills, and entrepreneurship. The Biologist's Imagination is both a review of past models for bioscience innovation and a forward-looking, original argument for what future models should take into account.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bill Hoffman and Leo Furcht have seamlessly synthesized the scientific, historical, economic, legal and institutional factors that will make or break progress in the life sciences over the next decades. Their account is learned and accessible. An impressive achievement." —Jonathan D. Moreno, Ph.D., author of The Body Politic: The Battle over Science in America

"The Biologist's Imagination is an essential and readable introduction to the Biological Revolution, covering everything from drugs to DNA to regional development. Authors William Hoffman and Leo Furcht have achieved the twin goals of scientific accuracy and accessibility to the lay reader. The book is an answer to every pessimist who thinks that the economy's potential for growth and progress has reached its limit." —Dr. Michael Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist, Progressive Policy Institute, and Former Chief Economist, BusinessWeek

Featured in the ERA SynBio Newsletter as a suggested 2014 Summer Read.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199974597
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/2/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 769,820
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William Hoffman has been a writer and editor in the University of Minnesota Medical School for more than three decades. He has worked closely with faculty in genetics and bioengineering and with the medical technology and bioscience industries. He has coauthored books and articles on genetics, stem cell research, and heart disease.

Leo T. Furcht is Allen-Pardee Professor of Cancer Research and Head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is past president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). He holds numerous patents on peptides, biocompatible materials, and multipotent adult stem cells.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Ideas, progress, wealth, and the biological revolution
Chapter 2: Drugs, biomolecules, brains, and the shifting currents of innovation
Chapter 3: Regional bioinnovation: Reaping the harvest of the local and the global
Chapter 4: Mendel's journey from peas to petabytes
Chapter 5: Toning up universities for regional growth
Chapter 6: Splicing and dicing: Property, information, and the DNA of innovation
Chapter 7: Looking ahead as an industry evolves
Conclusion
Chapter endnotes
Selected bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index

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