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The Biologist's Imagination: Innovation in the Biosciences
     

The Biologist's Imagination: Innovation in the Biosciences

by William Hoffman
 

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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

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.

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.

Featured on Techonomy.

"[E]xtraordinary times produce extraordinary innovation from extraordinary imaginations. Hoffman and Furcht have done a fine and detailed job describing how we've reached those times and the platforms upon which the next century of innovators will build. It's a work of great service to anyone ... scrambling to keep up with so many complex, interdependent layers of science and strategy." —Xconomy

"Readers interested in the history of biotechnology development, contentious court cases involving patent eligibility issues, and what lies ahead will find the book worth spending time with." —BioScience

"This exceptionally well-researched and engagingly presented account of the growth of biotechnology in medicine, agriculture, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries is a veritable tour de force." —The Biologist

"[T]here will no doubt be many who simply enjoy reading about this stuff..." —The Quarterly Review of Biology

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199974597
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/02/2014
Pages:
304
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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