To Know a Fly
First published in 1962, this book by esteemed American physiologist and entomologist Vincent Dethier provides an array of helpful examples of how ingeniously controlled experiments are designed and used. Other processes of scientific inquiry are also explained, such as observation, correlation, cause and effect, gathering and interpreting data, hypothesizing, and theory building.
Recommended to scientists of all ages!
“...This is a superb natural history book and is highly recommended for anyone twelve or older.”—Scientific American
“The author never ‘talks down’ to his readers but preserves such delightful and sparkling informal style throughout that we tend to overlook the professional skill with which he attacks his problems, the beauty of the experiments he describes. The book is such pleasant reading that we may not realize that this all represents biological research of a very high order. Among the many excellent features we may note the author’s commentaries on scientific method, which are extremely acute, informative, and provocative.”—Journal of the American Medical Association
“Highly recommended enrichment reading for biology teachers and secondary students in general science or biology.—The Science Teacher
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... but also that they have clarified their own thinking. Because the best scientists
are as a rule too busy—driven by a strong urge to speed up the annoyingly slow
process of-painstaking investigation (so that they will live to see some progress) ...
The students of the intact animal are often called psychologists or ethologists;
those of bits of live machinery, physiologists. Dethier is neither, or rather he is
both in one, and in his work he shows how research into the way animals work
He may never see a live animal or plant. He has come a long way since the days
when he pulled off the wings of flies. It need not be, however. Anyone with a
genuine love of nature, an insatiable curiosity about life, a soaring imagination, ...
So, if we must live together, if we cannot live in peaceful coexistence (if I dare
mention the phrase), let us learn something about and from some of our fellow
earthlings. We have been educated to think of the fly as that villainous character
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What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Arseny - LibraryThing
Great book, and it reads surprisingly well. The only sign of age really is the use of pronouns (the scientist is always "he", even despite the fact that female science students are mentioned several ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - juglicerr - LibraryThing
I thought that this book was hysterical. It is not the book for people wanted all the scientific facts about flies, although it does have some interesting tidbits along the way. Instead, it cheerfully ... Read full review