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In Context #22 (Fall, 2009)

Notes and Reviews

When Holism Was the Future
by Stephen L. Talbott

British biologist E. S. Russell, writing during the first half of the twentieth century, championed a whole-organism biology that refused many of the then-nascent tendencies that have now triumphed in molecular biology. But Russell foresaw to an uncanny degree the limitations and distortions that have infected the molecular point of view.

A Critique of the Modern Gene — From 1930

E. S. Russell's trenchant criticism of the genetic understanding of the organism, as it was developing in his day, looks surprisingly relevant to the genetic landscape today.

Milkweed: A Brief Photoessay
by Craig Holdrege

This is the first part of a two-part photoessay that will appear online after the publication of the Spring 2010 issue of In Context.

Feature Articles

Can Biologists Speak of the "Whole Organism"? A Conversation
by Stephen L. Talbott

There are many misconceptions about what holism in biology might mean, and these misconceptions account for the widespread sense among biologists that the striving for holism is more or less misdirected. In this article Steve takes a conversational approach as a means to stimulate thinking about the crucial issues.

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