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Letters to a Young Scientist [Kindle Edition]

Edward O. Wilson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"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."

Product Description

Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson imparts the wisdom of his storied career to the next generation.


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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7148 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0871403773
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (8 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AR3551Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #206,158 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Letters to a Young Scientist 15 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Old men ramble. They are allowed to. In doing so, many of them leave the world a better place. These letters are a gentle ramble through Ed Wilson's long life, his monumental work and profound thoughts, and they enhance the world enormously. His twenty letters are written in discursive - almost Darwinian - prose that is a rare delight to read. If you haven't, I envy you for you have a great pleasure in store. The letters are divided into five sections: `The Path to Follow', `The Creative Process', `A Life in Science', `Theory and the Big Picture' and, for the last letter only, `Truth and Ethics'. Be not deceived by the gentleness of the writing because it contains much hard wisdom.

The penultimate letter deals with the shoulders of giants. In it, I would like to have read some recognition of W D Hamilton who solved Darwin's main difficulty with altruism and thereby laid the evolutionary foundations for cooperation and thence for sociobiology. But it is too easy to criticise a book an author did not write, and Wilson surely has good reason for not mentioning Hamilton.

In the same vein and in the last letter `The Scientific Ethic', I would like to have read Wilson's thoughts on the most serious ethical dilemma not just scientists but the whole world faces, and it is the fact that every two seconds five more babies are born than people die. That is roughly equivalent to the population of Mobile, AL, doubling every 22 hours, or New York every 38 days, or London every 36 days. Please, Professor Wilson, turn your mind to this while you still have energy, but be not so gentle.

I bid all young scientists who read these letters to stand on Wilson's shoulders with confidence that they will not sag for they support a mighty mind and cover a warm and very human heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Beki
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a second year zoology student I found this book both inspirational and entertaining. In the competitive environment of university life it is sometimes hard to keep passion ignited, but EO Wilson describes brilliantly the importance of nurturing and refuelling passion for the subject above all else. Written through letters, the book feels like personal advice from a wise relative: it is warm, funny, and gently encouraging. I recommend this to all students of science, especially those in the life sciences, and especially if you've been feeling a little unenthusiastic lately due to lots of exams. This book will remind you how awesome being a scientist is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science as devotion 7 July 2013
By Evan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book, giving inspiration not only to young scientists, with so many wisdom and fascinating examples-answering why is science so exciting field. Profesor Wilson, thank YOU!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inside information - powerful scientific seeds 13 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great account of a wonderful scientific life that advocates inclusivity and passion for top quality science. I devour science and still learned alot. I want my children to read it so that they are no longer afraid of the learning race. It's the enjoyment of the journey that counts, not the maximum speed with which you travel and it is the passion you have that takes you unexpectedly to your destination.
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