Passionate Minds

The Inner World of Scientists

By Lewis Wolpert; (Editor)
(Oxford University Press, USA, Hardcover, 9780198549048, 248pp.)

Publication Date: April 1998

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Description
In this endlessly engaging volume, biologist Lewis Wolpert lets readers sit in as he talks with 23 of the world's leading scientists. What is day-to-day life like for a scientist? How have they hit upon their most important discoveries? What is the nature of scientific creativity?
Here, in this stimulating series of conversations, such eminent scientists as Murray Gell-Man, Jared Diamond, Gerald Edelman, Richard Lewontin, Roald Hoffman, and Carlo Rubbia talk candidly about their backgrounds, their careers, the people who have influenced or inspired them, and their most significant findings. We learn, for instance, how being an outsider or an "innocent" can play an invaluable role in overcoming conventional barriers to a new understanding. Indeed, even being a little crazy seems to help. As Nobel laureate Sheldon Glashow says, "if you would simply take all the kookiest ideas of the early 1970s and put them together, you would have made for yourself the theory which is, in fact, the correct theory of nature."
These conversations brim with insights into the minds of some of the great men and women of modern science. They offer as well an illuminating glimpse into the nature of scientific discovery.
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