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A list of key readings about Biology.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.

Journal articles

Perhaps best appreciated by reading the reviews first, which are publicly available.
First paragraph of Eugene Koonin's review (published alongside with the paper, as is custom at Biology Direct):

"This is an ambitious, even super-ambitious paper. The subject is, no more, no less, the change of the very character of modern biology that, according to Rose and Oakley, has taken place (or, perhaps, is still taking place) at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. I think the authors are, generally, correct in their claim that such a crucial transformation of biology, indeed, has occurred. Many biologists, of course, intuit this change but few seem to rationalize it. Therefore, this is, potentially, a paper of unusual importance, perhaps, an eye opener of sorts to many."

  • Relman DA. (2010) The biological century: coming to terms with risk in the life sciences. Nature Immunology 11:275-278.
    • Given the accelerating rate at which insights have been gained and benefits have been realized in the life sciences, it is not surprising and is even understandable that many life scientists ignore or minimize the potential risks from misuse of this science. Yet with acquisition of capabilities and power comes responsibility. It would behoove life scientists to engage in a wider discussion about the nature of these risks and to consider a variety of measures and approaches for managing and reducing these risks.


  • Timothy Shanahan (2004) The Evolution of Darwinism: Selection, Adaptation and Progress in Evolutionary Biology ISBN 0521834139