Egg and Ego: An Almost True Story of Life in the Biology Lab

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Springer Science & Business Media, 1999 - Medical - 195 pages
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Egg and Ego is a lighthearted look at the nature of academic science. It is intended for anyone interested in biology but particularly for biology students who want to find out what is in store for them in the future. It starts with an account of one particular experiment, which is later opened out to introduce the excitement arising from recent progress in associated areas of biology. It then describes the everyday aspects of scientific work, ignored by philosophers of science. These range from cleaning up radioactive contamination, to how to fill in biohazard forms, to how newly appointed professors bargain for money. The "Egg" of the title refers to the science of developmental biology, which is the specialty of the author, and which provides the material for many of the anecdotes. The "Ego" relates to the vanity of the scientists themselves. Academic scientists have to struggle to maintain their research funding. To do this they must persuade other scientists that they are very good, and that means work at a good institution, publishing papers in the most fashionable journals and giving lectures at the most prestigious meetings. Success often goes to those with the largest egos and their style of operation is described in this book. The final chapter is about relations between science and the outside world in the shape of the media, illustrated by the remarkable "case of the headless frog". The author is a well-known scientist who has worked at both universities and research institutes. He has published over 100 scientific papers and an influential book about embryonic development: "From Egg to Embryo".

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The Greasy Pole
The Growth Factors
The most expensive substances in the world
The Frog and its Spawn
Whos Who in the Lab
Laboratory Life and Death
The Ground Plan of Evolution
Paying for It All
The Case of the Headless Frog

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About the author (1999)

Professor Jonathan Slack has worked in London and Oxford and is currently Head of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath in England. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is a leading authority in developmental biology and has published over 150 scientific papers, as well as the well-received monograph "From Egg to Embryo" and the lighthearted and popular "Egg and Ego,

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