Books for the Fall 2007 semester

It’s that time of the summer again, when classes loom all too near, and enthusiastic students start asking for the reading ahead of time so that they can both find the books from a cheaper source than our bookstore and get a jump on the material. So to handle all those requests at once, here is a list of my fall term classes:

  • If you’re an incoming freshman biology major, you’ll be taking Biology 1111, Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development (FunGenEvoDevo, for short), either in the fall or the spring term. This course is primarily a qualitative introduction to the basic concepts of the scientific method which will also give you an overview of the fields described in the title. It has two textbooks, but you’ll also be getting some assigned readings from the scientific literature as the term goes on.

    • Science as a Way of Knowing: The Foundations of Modern Biology(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by John A. Moore. This is the primary required text for the course; you may be surprised when you read it, since it doesn’t fit the usual expectations of an introductory biology textbook. We did tell you this was a liberal arts university when you enrolled, though, didn’t we?

    • Life: The Science of Biology(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by David Sadava, H. Craig Heller , Gordon H. Orians, William K. Purves, David M. Hillis. This book is optional, but highly recommended, and will be used as a reference text throughout the course. You can get by using the copies in the reference section of the library, but since this book will also be used in our required biodiversity and cell biology courses, you might as well bite the expensive bullet and get a copy now. The links above are to the 8th and latest edition; it’s fine to use the 7th edition.

  • A smaller number of more advanced students may be taking Biology 4003, Neurobiology. This course will be taught rather more socratically than your usual lecture course, so be prepared for more external readings (and you can also propose your own interests), but there will be one reference text and a couple of general books on the subject that we’ll be reading together.

    • Neurobiology: Molecules, Cells and Systems (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Gary G. Matthews. This is a traditional neuroscience textbooks — you aren’t escaping this term without knowing the Goldman equation and a little anatomy and pharmacology.

    • Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Jonathan Weiner. Why should we care about neuroscience? This book will help you figure it out, and it’s excellent description of the research enterprise might nudge a few of you towards grad school (or scare you off, but either outcome is good.)

    • Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain—and How it Changed the World(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Carl Zimmer. We’ve got to at least touch on the history of the field, and this book will give you an fine overview of what people have been thinking about that blob of goo resting in your cranium. Those students planning on med school will also find the perspective here useful.

Feel free to order them ahead of time. Be sure to have them by the first week of classes, though … I tend to plunge in right away with a stack of assignments on the first day!


  1. #1 MAJeff
    August 8, 2007

    We also get requests from the bookstore to list our fall term books at the end of spring term, so we all definitely do know which books we’ll be using well before orientation.

    Some of us know. On the adjunct level, you can never be sure. I picked up a new class three weeks ago (but the nice thing is I may actually be benefits eligible this year). I placed my book orders this week, and I don’t think I’m the last in the department to do so.

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