Pushing the Boundaries: A Conversation with Freeman Dyson
This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and former mathematical physicist and writer Freeman Dyson, who was one of the most celebrated polymaths of our age. Freeman Dyson had his academic home for more than 60 years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has reshaped thinking in fields from math to astrophysics to medicine, while pondering nuclear-propelled spaceships designed to transport human colonists to distant planets.
During this extensive conversation Freeman looks back on his simultaneously transformative careers in theoretical physics, mathematics, biology, rocket ship design, nuclear disarmament and writing.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Pure and Applied, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
I. Debating Exceptionalism - Personal and professional
II. In Praise of Rebels - Moving science forwards
III. Against Reductionism - Valuing the specific
IV. Foundational Issues - From the anthropic principle to free will
V. Current Mysteries - From dark energy to quasicrystals
VI. The Origin of Life - RNA as a parasite
VII. Space Travel - Manned vs. unmanned
VIII. Science and Society - Climate change and more
IX. Religion - Another path
X. Final Thoughts - Neuroscience and Chinese string theorists
About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:
This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a relaxed and informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website (https://ideas-on-film.com/