Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist

Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist

Paperback Vintage

Edited by John Brockman

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 236 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 198mm x 15mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 13 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1400076862
  • ISBN 13: 9781400076864
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 605,219

Product description

"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.

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Author information

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.www.edge.org

Review quote

"Fascinating . . . An invigorating debate." -"The Washington Post Book World" "And intriguing collection of essays . . . full of comical and thought-provoking stories." -"Psychology Today" "Quirky, absorbing and persuasive in just the way that good stories are." -"Nature" "In this superlative collection . . . scientists-who also happen to be splendid writers-discuss what first attracted them to careers in science. . . . Inspiring." -"Sci Fi Magazine" "Revealing accounts and entertaining reading." -"Science News" "Compelling . . . rather than revealing a secret formula that produces an adult scientist, this collection proves just how disparate are the ingredients. . . . Idiosyncrasies are, in the end, what gives the collection its kick." -"Discover" "Forget algebra camp-a scientist's life can also begin with Gilligan's Island or the James Bond movie Thunderball . . . Entertaining stories." -"Popular Science" "[An] engrossing treat of a book . . . crammed with hugely enjoyable anecdotes." -"New Scientist"

Flap copy

"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.

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 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