Privileged Hands

A Scientific Life by Geerat J. Vermeij

  • Published: Sep 21, 2020

His fingers move across the surface of a shell, feeling the ridges and contours, searching for clues, gathering information unnoticed by the untrained eye. For Dr. Geerat Vermeij's fingers are his eyes. One of the most accomplished evolutionary... read more

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Details of Privileged Hands

Exact title of the book
Privileged Hands
Book author
Geerat J. Vermeij
ISBN
9781466813922
Publisher
Henry Holt and Co.
Published
Aug 15, 1996
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
250
File size (in PDF)
2250 kB

Some brief overview of book

His fingers move across the surface of a shell, feeling the ridges and contours, searching for clues, gathering information unnoticed by the untrained eye. For Dr. Geerat Vermeij's fingers are his eyes. One of the most accomplished evolutionary biologists of our time and the world's leading authority on an ancient "arms race" among mollusks, Dr. Vermeij is blind.

No ordinary autobiography, Privileged Hands is the story of Dr. Vermeij's challenge and triumph. What makes his story so compelling is how he sees and what his insights reveal about the wonder of life on planet Earth. His exhaustive research of ancient and living mollusks, particularly shells, is extraordinary in its scope and perspective about how species arm themselves, compete, and survive.

This is an intriguing irony for someone whose incomparable story is characterized by an unfailing determination to thrive in a sighted world and in the world of science. For Dr. Vermeij's self-portrait is also a portrait of the practice of science-his views on evolution and biodiversity, and the importance of observation are as much the story as are his family relationships, education, and position on arritmative action. Privileged Hands is provocative and intelligent storytelling it reveals as much about our own lives as it does about this one, remarkable, scientist's life.

" 'Uplifting' may smack of sentimentality, but Vermeij's life story surely is upliftingand it contributes importantly to evolutionary science." - Kirkus Reviews

About author

Geerat Vermeij, a preeminent evolutionary biologist and paleontologist, is a professor at the University of California, Davis. He has been awarded MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the editor of Paleobiology and of Evolution, the field's foremost journals of natural history and is the author of A Natural History of Shells; Evolution and Escalation An Ecological History of Life; and Biogeography and Adaptation Patterns of Marine Life.

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