The University of Wisconsin Press

History of Science / Genetics / Medicine


Perspectives on Genetics
Anecdotal, Historical, and Critical Commentaries, 1987–1998
Edited by James F. Crow and William F. Dove

The development of genetics in the twentieth century

For more than ten years, the distinguished geneticists James F. Crow and William F. Dove have edited the popular “Perspectives” column in Genetics, the journal of the Genetics Society of America. This book, Perspectives on Genetics, collects more than 100 of these essays, which cumulatively are a history of modern genetics research and its continuing evolution.

Perspectives on Genetics  provides a unique record of the early days of genetics in the twentieth century. In one volume, it offers a history of the foundations of our field, told by the disciples of the researchers who were there from the very beginning. Crow and Dove have done a superb job of gathering authoritative and readable reports on the main events and the main actors in the story of formal transmission genetics.”
—David R. Stadler, University of Washington

The twentieth century will be known as a golden age of genetics, and the ‘Perspectives’ has been singular in encouraging scientists of recognized stature to choose and expand on subjects about which they have special knowledge. The essays usually concern the historical development of a particular line of research, and in them these scientists recall the excitement of expanding ideas, appraise the influence of various players in unraveling problems, and often give a more personal view of participants the author has known as mentors or colleagues.”
—David D. Perkins, Stanford University

This volume serves the important purpose of introducing students to the history of their field, which is a potent way of showing how science is really done, and how scientific ideas change with time and experimental evidence.”
—Elliot Meyerowitz, California Institute of Technology and president of the Genetics Society of America

James F. Crow is professor emeritus of genetics and zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. William F. Dove is professor of oncology and medical genetics and the George Streisinger Professor of Experimental Biology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

To schedule an interview with the author or to request a review copy of the book, contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email:

June 2000
LC: 99-049567 QH
738 pp.   8 1/2 x 11
47 halftones, 56 figures,
3 tables
Paper ISBN 978-0-299-16604-5

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