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Encyclopédic française

Nature volume 140, page 664 (16 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE great difficulty confronting all those who wish to give a connected account of the sciences of life is that of steering between the Scylla of excessive popularity and the Charybdis of technicality. Where certain special but fundamental sciences are concerned, such as biochemistry and genetics, the relative unfamiliarity of their concepts to the general reader leads to a failure to do them justice and hence to an unfair emphasis. The present volume of the French Encyclopaedia, in which some fifty French scientists have collaborated to describe the main outlines of the sciences of life, seems to overcome these difficulties better than any English book. The excellent "Animal Biology"of Haldane and Huxley is very short, while the two- volume "Life" of Thomson and Geddes suffers particularly from the failure just referred to.

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