The Modern Scholar

  • by Betsey Dexter Dyer
  • Narrated by Betsey Dexter Dyer
  • 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Bacteria are the most overlooked organisms on your nature walk. You see birds, trees, and wildflowers. You may even examine fungi, rock formations, mosses, lichens, nests, tracks, and insects. However, it is likely that you are not seeing bacteria even though you may know they are there in countless numbers, far outnumbering the other organisms, and that their influence on the environment is vast and profound.Professor Betsey Dexter Dyer of Wheaton College examines the role of bacteria as major players in Earth's biodiversity. In the course of these fascinating lectures, Professor Dyer delves into the history of microbiology, the four billion year history of bacteria and archaea as the dominant organisms on Earth, and the place of pathogens in the greater context of the bacterial world. This course serves as both a field guide for curious naturalists and a friendly introduction to the world of bacteria and archaea.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bacteria has a pin up girl!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Would not change a thing. It was brilliant to hear the enthusiasm in Betsey narration.


What three words best describe the narrator’s performance?

Enthusiastic, down to earth (literally), relatable.


Do you think The Modern Scholar needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Always, follow up books are necessary. Please do another one Betsey!!


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- Carol

Engaging and accessible

Its not easy to write engaging science books so I take my hat off to Betsy Dexter Dyer. Never having taken microbiology as an undergraduate, I inadvertantly stumbled into biogeochemistry during my post-graduate research and really panicked when I failed to understand paper after paper and found the textbooks on the subject dry, labourious and curiously unhelpful. This book does not require any previous knowledge of the subject nor does it require infinite amounts of patience, concentration and academic grit to learn from it, and yet neither is it written in a patronizing style. All that is required to enjoy this book is a curiosity about life on earth. Listening to this audiobook (and reading parts of her fieldguide to bacteria, which makes a great companion book) gave me a knowledge foundation and, more importantly, the interest and motivation to read drier and less 'user-friendly' papers and textbooks.
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- Birgit

Book Details

  • Release Date: 31-10-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books