Synopses & Reviews
What makes a child decide to become a scientist?
- For Robert Sapolsky (Stanford professor of biology) it was an argument with a rabbi over a passage in the Bible.
- Physicist Lee Smolin traces his inspiration to a volume of Einstein's work, picked up as a diversion from heartbreak.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist and the author of Flow, found his calling through Descartes.
Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Humphrey, Freeman Dyson . . . 27 scientists in all write about what it was that sent them on the path to their life's work. Illuminating memoir meets superb science writing in stories that invite us to consider what it is-and what it isn't-that sets the scientific mind apart.
About the Author
John Brockman, editor of many books, including The Next Fifty Years, is also the author of By the Late John Brockman, The Third Culture, and Digerati: Encounters with the Cyber Elite. He is the founder and CEO of Brockman Inc., a literary and software agency, and the publisher and editor of the Web site Edge. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Nicholas Humphrey A Family Affair
David M. Buss The Bungling Apprentice
Robert M. Sapolsky Mountain Gorilla and Yeshiva Boy
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Safety in Numbers
Murray Gell-Mann My Father and Albert Einstein
Alison Gopnik A Midcentury Modern Education
Paul C. W. Davies Cosmology Calls
Freeman J. Dyson Member of the Club
Lee Smolin A Strange Beautiful Girl in a Car
Steven Pinker How We May Have Become What We Are
Mary Catherine Bateson Patterns and the Participant Observer
Lynn Margulis Mixing It Up
Jaron Lanier A Childhood Between Realities
Richard Dawkins Dolittle and Darwin
Howard Gardner One Way ofMaking a Social Scientist
Joseph Ledoux Brains Through the Back Door
Sherry Turkle The Objects of Our Lives
Marc d. Hauser Intellectual Promiscuity
Ray Kurzweil Tom Swift Jr. and the Power of Ideas
Janna Levin A Day in the Life of a Child
Rodney Brooks Toward the Worm
J. Doyne Farmer The Everyday Practice of Physics in Silver City, New Mexico
Steven Strogatz The Math of the Real World
Tim White At Large in the Mountains
V. S. Ramachandran The Making of a Scientist
Daniel C. Dennett What I Want to Be When I Grow Up
Judith Rich Harris The Gift of Solitude