The article on the history of science (F. Hoke, The Scientist, Nov. 15, 1993, page 1), a good one indeed, omitted what I think is an important aspect of science history. If one examines many biology or biochemistry textbooks, one finds a woeful omission of the historical aspects of any particular subject. The student comes away feeling that, all of a sudden, insight sprung from Zeus's head, knowledge without a precedent. There is nothing to indicate that many past discoveries, some going back 100 years, have formed the foundations for any particular subfield.

The history of experimental research is conspicuously missing, and is becoming lost to today's students. If I may say so, a singular exception to this is the third edition of a biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology textbook, Cell Structure and Function, by A. Loewy, P. Siekevitz, J. Menninger, and J. Gallant (Philadelphia, Saunders College Publishing, 1992),...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!