Thursday, August 05, 2004


CURIOUS MINDS: HOW A CHILD BECOMES A SCIENTIST (Edited, with an introduction, by John Brockman; Pantheon, August 2004; available at Amazon)
[5 August 2004 - EDGE 144] A fascinating original collection of essays from twenty-seven of theworld's most interesting scientists about the moments and events in theirchildhoods that set them on the paths that would define their lives.What makes a child decide to become a scientist?.....

  • For Robert Sapolsky-Stanford professor of biology - it was an argumentwith a rabbi over a passage in the Bible.
  • Physicist Lee Smolin traces his inspiration to the volume of Einstein'swork he picked up as a diversion from heartbreak.
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist and the author of Flow, foundhis calling through Descartes.
  • Mary Catherine Bateson - author of Composing a Life - discovered thatshe wanted to be an anthropologist while studying Hebrew.
  • Janna Levin-author of How the Universe Got Its Spots -f elt impelled bythe work of Carl Sagan to know more.

Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Humphrey, Freeman Dyson, Daniel C. Dennett,Lynn Margulis, V. S. Ramachandran, Howard Gardner, Richard Dawkins, andmore than a dozen others tell their own entertaining and often inspiringstories of the deciding moment. Illuminating memoir meets superb sciencewriting in essays that invite us to consider what it is-and isn't-thatsets the scientific mind apart and into action.

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