Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist

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John Brockman
Pantheon Books, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 236 pages
A fascinating collection of essays from twenty-seven of the world’s most interesting scientists about the moments and events in their childhoods that set them on the paths that would define their lives.

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 the volume of Einstein’s work he picked up as a diversion from heartbreak.
•Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist and the author of Flow, found his calling through Descartes.
•Mary Catherine Bateson—author of Composing a Life—discovered that she wanted to be an anthropologist while studying Hebrew.
•Janna Levin—author of How the Universe Got Its Spots—felt impelled by the work of Carl Sagan to know more.

Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Humphrey, Freeman Dyson, Daniel C. Dennett, Lynn Margulis, V. S. Ramachandran, Howard Gardner, Richard Dawkins, and more than a dozen others tell their own entertaining and often inspiring stories of the deciding moment. Illuminating memoir meets superb science writing in essays that invite us to consider what it is—and isn’t—that sets the scientific mind apart and into action.

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User Review  - kevinashley - LibraryThing

This is a book which I enjoyed far, far more than I expected to - a book that, having read it, I want everyone I know to read and enjoy as well. This is despite the fact that I suspect the book hasn't ... Read full review

Curious minds: twenty-seven scientists describe what inspired them to choose their paths

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Just what turns a child on to science? This is the determinant that editor and author Brockman (The Next Fifty Years ) seeks to elicit in this collection of 27 essays. Notables like Robert Sapolsky ... Read full review



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About the author (2004)

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.

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