Letters to a Young Scientist
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Letters to a Young Scientist

By (author) Edward O. Wilson

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Edward O. Wilson has distilled sixty years of teaching into a book for students, young and old. Reflecting on his coming-of-age in the South as a Boy Scout and a lover of ants and butterflies, Wilson threads these twenty-one letters, each richly illustrated, with autobiographical anecdotes that illuminate his career-both his successes and his failures-and his motivations for becoming a biologist. At a time in human history when our survival is more than ever linked to our understanding of science, Wilson insists that success in the sciences does not depend on mathematical skill, but rather a passion for finding a problem and solving it. From the collapse of stars to the exploration of rain forests and the oceans' depths, Wilson instills a love of the innate creativity of science and a respect for the human being's modest place in the planet's ecosystem in his readers.

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  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 121.92 x 182.88 x 27.94mm | 294.83g
  • 31 May 2013
  • WW Norton & Co
  • Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • New York
  • English
  • 0871403773
  • 9780871403773
  • 62,159

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Author Information

Edward O. Wilson is widely recognized as one of the world's preeminent biologists and naturalists. The author of more than twenty books, including The Creation, The Social Conquest of Earth, and Letters to a Young Scientist, Wilson is a professor emeritus at Harvard University. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Review quote

"Edward O. Wilson, the evolutionary biologist who has studied social behavior among insects and humans, offers advice to aspiring researchers...A naturalist at heart, he plays down technology, math, even intelligence, proposing that a good scientist should be 'bright enough to see what can be done but not too bright as to become bored doing it.'...delivers deep insights into how observation and experiment drive theory." -- Jascha Hoffman "The eminent entomologist, naturalist and sociobiologist draws on the experiences of a long career to offer encouraging advice to those considering a life in science... Glows with one man's love for science." "I want to express my gratitude. Thank you for reminding me and thousands of others why we became -scientists. Your book Letters to a Young Scientist is first and foremost a book about passion and the delight of discovery..." -- Bill Streever "In this fund of practical and philosophical guidance distilled from seven decades of experience, Wilson provides exactly the right mentoring for scientists of all disciplines-and all ages... This is no pompous, deeply philosophical treatise on how great ideas develop. Wilson shares his simple love for ants and their natural history, revelling in them without hesitation. Everything else follows." "Inspiring... Ought to be on the shelves of all high school and public libraries."

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