Books et al.History of Science

The bee whisperer

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Science  20 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6288, pp. 902
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf5312

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In The Dancing Bees, historian of science Tania Munz recounts the fascinating story of Karl von Frisch, the Austrian ethologist who discovered that honeybees communicate the direction and distance of food sources through elaborate dancelike behaviors. The book is a biography of a remarkable and gifted scientist whose work proved foundational for the discipline of comparative physiology, but it is also much more than that. Von Frisch's scientific research occurred during a time period that spanned two world wars and the Cold War. His seminal discovery, which would later earn him a Nobel Prize, was made while he was funded by the Nazi Ministry of Food and Agriculture.