Looking to create a new generation of accessible and visually engaging science textbooks, two Macmillan subsidiaries, Scientific American magazine and textbook publisher W.H. Freeman, have teamed up to produce Biology for A Changing World, the first in series of journalistically-driven science textbooks aimed at non-science majors.
The new textbook series brings together Scientific American magazine, known for its ability to produce accessible science journalism on complex scientific topics as well as its expertise in creating infographics and explanatory visual content, and the science editors of its sister company, W. H. Freeman. Indeed the visual content produced by SA is a “big component” of the textbook project, said Macmillan spokesperson Karen Lippe. Biology for A Changing World was written and overseen by a team that includes professors Michèle Shuste and Janet Vigna and science journalists Gunjan Sinha and Matthew Tontonoz.
Marc Mazzoni, senior editor at W.H. Freeman and former high school biology teacher, said the “The goal of the authors and editorial team has been to engage students, to show them why basic science knowledge is so important. We want to show that science is not a bunch of facts—science is knowledge that will impact their decisions as everyday citizens.”
Biology for a Changing World is the first book in the series and is available for sale now. Next in the series will be separate books on psychology and environmental studies. Lippe said the textbook has gone through the traditional peer review process and also includes a variety of digital and online teacher supplements including the Learning Curve, an electronic “adaptive quizzing system” designed as an assessment tool that is tied to state school standards.
“We’ve sent out sample chapters to professors to get feedback and the initial responses to the book from students and professors has been very positive,” said Lippe.
The book is available as a bound book ($71), loose leaf notebook ($53) or e-book ($60) although these prices do not include the typical college bookstore markup of about 38%. However, Lippe said all formats of the book can be purchased through the W.H. Freeman online store at these stated prices.