1974: The Lives of a Cell
Author/Editor: Lewis Thomas
Lewis Thomas’s Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher began as a series of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. Once collected into a book in 1974, it won the National Book Award in both Arts & Letters and the Sciences.
This book is a series of brief, insightful meditations, often linking biological questions to human questions—what is a ‘natural’ human? How do we live with germs? Is the earth like a single, busy cell? But Thomas also speculates about the future of things we interact with daily—HMOs, computer networks. It’s fascinating to see how Thomas thought about these things as they began to affect society and then think about our expectations for the future.
In the mean time, if you’d like to take a look at the life of a cell as we now conceive it, take a quick look at this video of the workings of a cell.