Passionate Minds: The Inner World of Scientists

Hardcover | September 1, 1997

EditorLewis Wolpert, Alison Richards

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The popular stereotype of the scientist as mad boffin or weedy nerd has been peddled widely in film and fiction, with the implication that the world of science is far removed from the intellectual and emotional messiness of other human activities. In Passionate Minds, distinguished scientistLewis Wolpert investigates the style and motivation of some of the most eminent scientists in the world. In this stimulating collection of conversations, scientists in fields as diverse as particle physics and evolutionary biology explore how their backgrounds have shaped their careers anddiscoveries - how being an outsider or an "innocent" can play an invaluable role in overcoming conventional barriers to new understanding. Being a little crazy does seem to help. As Nobel laureate for physics Sheldon Glashow says, "If you would simply take all the kookiest ideas of the early 1970sand put them together you would have made for yourself the theory which is, in fact, the correct theory of nature, so it was like madness..." These personal explorations with individual scientists are not only accessible and truly fascinating in their insights into the minds of some of the greatestmen and women of science, but they also provide a strong case that the life and works of our leading scientists are at least as illuminating and interesting as the personalities of the latest literary prizewinners. A sequel to A Passion for Science, this book will delight and intrigue scientists andnon-scientists alike.

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From Our Editors

Biologist Lewis Wolpert lets readers sit in as he talks with 23 of the world's leading scientists. In this stimulating series of conversations, Murray Gell-Man, Jared Diamond, Gerald Edelman, Carlo Rubbia, and others talk candidly about their backgrounds, their careers, the people who have influenced or inspired them, and their most si...

From the Publisher

The popular stereotype of the scientist as mad boffin or weedy nerd has been peddled widely in film and fiction, with the implication that the world of science is far removed from the intellectual and emotional messiness of other human activities. In Passionate Minds, distinguished scientistLewis Wolpert investigates the style and mot...

Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine at University College, London. Alison Richards is a producer of science programmes for BBC Radio.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:September 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198549040

ISBN - 13:9780198549048

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Table of Contents

Introduction: More Passion for ScienceSection I: In Two MindsCarl Djerassi: Blemished heroesRoald Hoffman: Tapeworm quadrillesJared Diamond: Worlds apartLeroy Hood: Scaling the heightsDavid Weatherall: Clinical scienceJames Lighthill: Swimming with the tideSection II: Against the GrainJames Lovelock: Freeing the mindPeter Mitchell: Gardens of the mindJohn Cairns: Not a company manRichard Lewontin: Not all in the genesAntonio Garcia-Bellido: In agreement with natureSection III: EurekaJames Black: Daydreaming moleculesGerald Edelman: Going into the darkMichael Berridge: Hole in oneElwyn Simon: Ways of seeingMurray Gell-Man: Three quarks for muster markSheldon Glashow: The wierdest of fanciesNicole le Douarin: Directly to the heartSection IV: ReflectionsGerald Holton: Other mindsCarlo Rubbia: Asking natureDavid Pilbeam: A very tidy deskAnne McLaren: Of mice and mothersAvrion Mitchison: A family affairIndex

From Our Editors

Biologist Lewis Wolpert lets readers sit in as he talks with 23 of the world's leading scientists. In this stimulating series of conversations, Murray Gell-Man, Jared Diamond, Gerald Edelman, Carlo Rubbia, and others talk candidly about their backgrounds, their careers, the people who have influenced or inspired them, and their most significant findings. 23 photos

Editorial Reviews

`This is a wonderful and truly illuminating collection of interviews cum essays'THES