William J. Murray

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 491

[Tools of Modern Biology] is principally a history of the development of the methods (Intellectual Tools) and instruments that have contributed to the growth and development of the Modern Biological Body of Knowledge. It is made more interesting by the fact that the works of some of the major researchers in the field are cited throughout.

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Perhaps the most important contribution that this book offers to the reader is that it gives him meaningful insights into scientific process and method and a better understanding of the men who are engaged in scientific endeavors….

The scientific "Truth" is only as good as the methods and instruments employed and the data which support them. This point is so well made by the author's development of his subject that this alone is enough to recommend the book….

His treatment of the scientific method is one of the best yet for real insight and understanding. His treatment of Biometrics demonstrates his skill at taking a fairly complicated topic and making it simple and quite understandable for the average reader.

The author's chapters on the use of various scientific instruments such as light and electron microscopes, radioactive tracers and others are excellent. (p. 296)

William J. Murray, in Best Sellers (copyright 1970, by the University of Scranton), October 15, 1970.

Everyday tasks of the weather observer, radar operator, forecaster, "hurricane hunter," and other meteorological technicians are surveyed [in The National Weather Service] to convey an appreciation of "what goes into preparing those simple sounding weather reports." Covered in the process are the functions and handling of such tools as the weather balloon, satellite, barometer, even … the inter-station teletype machine. The attention to office routine is sometimes excessive…. Procedures in making weather maps are closely followed …, but those wavy lines (isobars) that appear on the pictured maps are never mentioned…. In short, this easy once-over provides a clear picture of what the various weathermen do (at a younger level than Bixby's Skywatchers), but only a foggy notion of what it's all about. (p. 590)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1971 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), June 1, 1971.

Mr. Berger has presented almost a travelog of a trip to the South Pole Station [in South Pole Station]…. His style is pleasant and rather low key, however he manages to inject an amazingly large amount of factual material without bogging down in detail. He presents the day-to-day life of the South Polar scientist at work and play…. The major emphasis is on the scientific program and how the various individuals and their investigations contribute to an overall study of the South Pole. This book is generally restricted to the pole station and its inhabitants rather than a broader view of the South Pole. In this context, as an introduction to a particular scientific environment, rather than as one of the many already available books about Antarctica, the book is well worth reading. (p. 131)

Science Books (copyright 1971 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. VII, No. 2 (September, 1971).

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