Letters to A Young Scientist

Letters to A Young Scientist

Book - 2013
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The author, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist imparts the wisdom of his storied career to the next generation. Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, the author 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, he 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, he 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, he 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.
Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a Division of W.W. Norton & Company, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780871403773
Characteristics: 244 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm


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JessicaGma Jan 15, 2018

If this book had come out 10-15 years ago, it would have been lauded and loved by many. The writing is great, but I feel the whole concept in unaware of how it works (or doesn't) for researchers today. I mean, if you want that higher degree, by all means, go for it, but be aware that it's not a rosy as all this. This might just be a great book for those going into undergraduate studies.

noah8956 Nov 18, 2014


Jul 31, 2014

Several people suggested this book to me, and I'm glad I read it. It is an easy ready, and a very inspirational piece for anyone who has that hidden scientist inside them that has been unwilling to let it out and follow their scientific passion. There are also hidden thoughts on biodiversity and evolution that I wish got a bit more coverage.

Mar 28, 2014

Absolutely one of the best books I ever read, by one of the greatest scientists in the world. An easy read where I learned a lot. Might not be for everyone, but definitely for everyone interested in science. I only wish it was longer!...But now I'm working on one of his other books, "Superorganism", which is huge.


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