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Biology: The Dynamic Science 4th Edition


Author: Peter J. Russell and Paul E. Hertz

Publisher: Brooks Cole


Publish Date: January 1, 2016

ISBN-10: 1305389891

Pages: 1468

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Welcome to the fourth edition of Biology: The Dynamic Science. The book’s title reflects the speed with which our knowledge of biology is growing. Although biologists have made enormous progress in solving the riddles posed by the living world, every discovery raises new questions and provides new opportunities for further research. As in previous editions, we have encapsulated the dynamic nature of biology in the fourth edition by explaining biological concepts— and the data from which they are derived— in the historical context of each discovery and by describing what we know now and what new discoveries will be likely to advance the field in the future.

Building on a strong foundation . . .

The first three editions of this book provided students with the tools they need to learn fundamental biological concepts and
processes. More important, the previous editions encouraged students to think like scientists by applying the process of science. Our approach encourages students to think about biological questions and hypotheses through clear examples of hypothesis development, observational and experimental tests of hypotheses, and the conclusions that scientists draw from data. The many instructors and students who have used previous editions have generously provided valuable feedback that has allowed us to strengthen the elements that enhance student learning. We have also received comments from expert reviewers. As a result of these inputs, every chapter has been revised and updated with recent studies, including many based on genomic and proteomic analyses. In addition, the chapters in Unit One (Molecules and Cells) have been reorganized. This edition also includes new or modified illustrations and photos, as well as some new features.

The fourth edition of Biology: The Dynamic Science represents a fully integrated package of print and media that will appeal to today’s students. Although the traditional format of the printed text can stand alone for both instructors and students, MindTap, the most engaging and easily personalized online solution in biology, enables instructors to deliver what they know is best for their students. MindTap offers an online version of the text, as well as before-class and in-class exercises, assignable and gradable homework exercises drawn from the book’s content, and other resources and features that allow students to assess their learning as they progress through their study of biology.

Emphasizing the big picture . . .

In this textbook, we have applied our collective experience as teachers, researchers, and writers to create a readable and understandable foundation for students who choose to enroll in more advanced biology courses in the future. Where appropriate, we provide straightforward explanations of fundamental concepts from the evolutionary perspective that bind together all of the biological sciences. Recognizing that students in an introductory biology course face a potentially daunting quantity of ideas and information, we strive to provide an appropriate balance between factual and conceptual material, taking great care to provide clear explanations of how scientists draw conclusions from empirical data. Our approach helps students understand how we achieved our present knowledge.

Having watched our students struggle to navigate the many arcane details of college-level introductory biology, we constantly remind ourselves and each other to “include fewer facts, provide better explanations, and maintain the narrative flow,” thereby enabling students to see the big picture. Clarity of presentation, thoughtful organization, a logical and seamless flow of topics within chapters, and carefully designed illustrations are key to our approach. With this edition, full integration with MindTap engages students with appealing and useful exercises that encourage them to learn biology by thinking like scientists.

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