Life: The Science of Biology, 10th Edition
Biology is a constantly changing scientific field. New discoveries about the living world are being made every day, and more than 1 million new research articles in biology are published each year. Beyond the constant need to update the concepts and facts presented in any science textbook, in recent years ideas about how best to educate the upcoming generation of biologists have undergone dynamic and exciting change.
Although we and many of our colleagues had thought about the nature of biological education as individuals, it is only recently that biologists have come together to discuss these issues. Reports from the National Academy of Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and College Board AP Biology Program not only express concern about how best to instruct undergraduates in biology, but offer concrete suggestions about how to design the introductory biology course—and by extension, our book. We have followed these discussions closely and have been especially impressed with the report “Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education” (visionandchange. org). As participants in the educational enterprise, we have answered the report’s call to action with this textbook and its associated ancillary materials.
The “Vision and Change” report proposes five core concepts for biological literacy:
2. Structure and function
3. Information flow, exchange, and storage
4. Pathways and transformations of energy and matter
These five concepts have always been recurring themes in Life, but in this Tenth Edition we have brought them even more “front and center.”
“Vision and Change” also advocates that students learn and demonstrate core competencies, including the ability to apply the process of science using quantitative reasoning. Life has always emphasized the experimental nature of biology. This edition responds further to these core competency issues with a new working with data feature and the addition of a statistics primer (Appendix B). The authors’ multiple educational perspectives and areas of expertise, as well as input from many colleagues and students who used previous editions, have informed the approach to this new edition.
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