J. B. S. Haldane/Works

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A list of some works of J. B. S. Haldane.

Books by J.B.S. Haldane

  • From the M.I.T. Press Edition website: "J.B.S. Haldane will be long remembered for his many contributions to man's knowledge of his world and of himself. Some of the most valuable of these contributions are contained in this classic work on the chemistry of enzymes, originally published in 1930. The book sheds new light on research possibilities that have heightened relevance today. In the preface to this edition, written just a few months before his death, the author has pointed out the importance of the modern enzymologist's awareness of what was known about his subject in the recent past. He describes briefly the major advances in enzymology in the last thirty years and has urged continued and intensified research in specific areas. The result is a fascinating historical work by a great scientist with specific relevance for those in the field today."
  • Example of Haldane's writing style: "A catalyst can only promote a reaction provided that a loss of free energy results. This is somewhat less sweeping than the statement that a catalyst can merely accelerate a reaction which would otherwise occur, though the latter statement may also be true."
  • Another example: "Various cases occur in the literature in which an enzyme appears to affect the equilibrium reached, or not to accelerate the two opposing reactions to an equal extent. Thus if urease is added to an unbuffered urea solution, hydrolysis stops at a certain point. On adding more enzyme, the reaction proceeds further, and so on. But in a buffered solution the reaction proceeds very nearly to completion in either case. In the absence of buffers the solution rapidly becomes alkaline, and the reaction ceases. The enzyme solution contains proteins and other buffers, and when more is added the alkalinity is diminished and the reaction can again proceed. Such "false equilibria" may be of importance biologically." [Editor: Note how Haldane quickly speculates on the possible biological implications of special biochemical particulars.]
  • From the Princeton Science Library website: "In The Causes of Evolution he [J.B.S. Haldane] not only helped to marry the new science of genetics to the older one of evolutionary theory but also provided an accessible introduction to the genetical basis of evolution by natural selection. Egbert Leigh's new introduction to this classic work places it in the context of the ongoing study of evolution. Describing Haldane's refusal to be confined by a "System" as a "light-hearted" one, Leigh points out that we are now finding that "Haldane's questions are the appropriate next stage in learning how adaptation can evolve. We are now ready to reap the benefit of the fact that Haldane was a free man in the sense that really matters.""
  • From Mayr E. (1992) Haldane's Causes of Evolution After 60 Years. Quarterly Review of Biology. 67:175-186. "Those interested in Haldane's mathematical genetics should turn to Leigh's new edition, in which the editor provides an 18-page Introduction and a most valuable Afterword of 75 pages, where a great deal of the research in mathematical population genetics published after 1932 is summarized. This contribution is particularly important, because it was Haldane's work that provided the point of departure for many of these developments." Full-Text
  • From Page 54 Boni/Gaer Questia edition: " What is common to all life is the chemical events. And these are extraordinarily similar in very different organisms. We may say that life is essentially a pattern of chemical happenings, and that in addition there is some building of a characteristic shape in almost all living things, characteristic motion in most animals, and feeling and purpose in some of them."

Popular science essays by J.B.S. Haldane

  • Publisher's Description: J. B. S. Haldane (1892-64) was one of the great scientists--and great science writers--of the 20th century. A polymath who was a central figure in the development of modern evolutionary biology, he was also a highly skilled essayist and an extraordinary character--brilliant, witty, idealistic, funny, and pugnacious....What I Require From Life brings together Haldane's popular science essays, more than sixty articles that reflect not only his masterful ability to communicate scientific understanding, but also his deep commitment to socialism. Readers will find essays on an exhilarating range of topics--"Is There Life on the Planets?" "Is Man a Machine?" "Why are You Left-handed?" "Overcrowding at the Zoo," "How Bees Communicate," "The Common Cold."....Edited with an introduction by Haldane's last graduate pupil, Krishna Dronamraju, this collection of thought-provoking and beautifully-written pieces also comes with a Preface written by the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who calls Haldane "perhaps the most brilliant science popularizer of his generation."
  • About the Editor: Krishna Dronamraju is President of the Foundation for Genetic Research in Houston. He was an Advisor to the White House and served on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Prof. Dronamraju is a Visiting Professor of the University of Paris, the Albert Schweitzer International University of Geneva, and an Honorary Research Fellow of University College, London.