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Mind, Life, and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of Our Time (Sciencewriters) [Hardcover]

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Item description for Mind, Life, and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of Our Time (Sciencewriters) by David Suzuki...

Nearly forty of the world's most esteemed scientists discuss the big questions that drive their illustrious careers. Coeditor Eduardo Punset---one of Spain's most loved personages for his popularization of the sciences--- interviews an impressive collection of characters, drawing out their seldom-seen personalities. In Mind, Life and Universe, they describe in their own words the most important and fascinating aspects of their research. Frank and often irreverent, these interviews will keep even the most casual reader of science books rapt for hours.

Can brain science explain feelings of happiness and despair? Is it true that chimpanzees are just like us when it comes to sexual innuendo? Is there any hard evidence that life exists anywhere other than on the Earth? Through Punset's skillful questioning, readers meet one scientist who spends her waking hours assuring the freedom of African primates, another passionate about his idea that his wife's choice of husband was determined when she was a fetus, and another who explains the evidence for more than the standard four dimensions of length, width, height, and time.

In captivating conversations with such science luminaries as Richard Dawkins, Sheldon Glashow, Jane Goodall, James E. Lovelock, Lisa Randall, Robert Sapolski, Oliver Sacks, and E. O.Wilson, the editors reveal a unique, hidden world of intellectual interest, verve, and humor. Science enthusiasts and general readers alike will devour Mind, Life and Universe.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   358
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1.4"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 21, 2007
Publisher   Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN  1933392614  
ISBN13  9781933392615  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Suzuki

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Suzuki is an international broadcaster and the host of the TV series The Nature of Things. He has received many awards including the Order of Canada and the UNESCO Kalinga award. He is the author 20 books including Metamorphosis, Wisdom of the Elders and Inventing the Future.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Science > Essays & Commentary
2Books > Subjects > Science > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Mind, Life, and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of Our Time (Sciencewriters)?

An introduction to the thoughts of some of the most interesting scientific minds in the world!!  Jan 28, 2008

Consider these eight statements:

(1) "There is a psychological immune system that protects us from the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune'...but we are unaware of it."
(2) "In a utopian world, psychopaths would stand out as predators, because that is what they do, take advantage of others. We could live in a perfect utopia and there would always be psychopaths."
(3) "The role of dreams is to throw us into extraordinary social situations."
(4) "We know now that practically all human health problems will be resolved one day."
(5) "We will suffer for all we have done and only then will we understand how wonderful our planet was."
(6) "Some animals live in the trees, others on the sea, others underground, others fly, others dig, but essentially, they are all doing the same thing: they are working to survive and therefore to pass their genes on to the future. The genes encode the instructions that enable animals to exist."
(7) "If extra dimensions really explain phenomena in our world, then there are experimental implications of this fact for the future. Our ideas will lead us to see evidence for extra dimensions."
(8) "If you asked me whether in a hundred years time we will travel into the future, I will tell you that it is very possible."

The above are statements made by eight scientists found in this fascinating book that has the transcribed interviews of scientists from around the world. According to the book's cover, this book is edited by Dr. Lynn Margulis (who received the 1999 U.S. National Medal of Science) and Eduardo Punset who currently works in Spanish TV where he hosts a television program that communicates science to a worldwide Spanish-speaking audience. (A third editor, not mentioned on the book's cover, is Dorion Sagan, "a prolific science writer.") This book's Forward was authored by internationally-known Canadian scientist, Dr. David Suzuki.

The total number of interviews is 36 but the total number of scientists interviewed is 37 since one interview is with two scientists. (Actually, if you consider the definition of the words "science" and "scientist," the number of scientists interviewed is actually 36.) Except in one case by Margulis, Punset does all the interviewing.

The majority of scientists interviewed are also professors. Three scientists are female and three are Nobel Prize winners.

All interviews are clear and lucid as well as relatively short. They give readers insights into the minds of some of the leading scientists from around the world, revealing their creative thought-processes and how they are passionate about their own work. Also, the reader needs no science background to understand these interviews.

The book itself is divided into parts and these parts are divided into subsections. Below I will give the title of each part and the titles of their subsections. As well, I will indicate the number of interviews for each part in parentheses.

(I) People primates. Subsections: Culture before humans; Attractiveness; Anxiety. (13 interviews)
(II) Animal body-mind. Subsections: Cyclicity and sociality; Prehistory and Immortality of the body-mind. (9 interviews)
(III) Life on an animate planet. Subsections: Bygone biosphere; Toward perfection; Dead or alive? (8 interviews)
(IV) Toward the invisible. Subsection: From the vast to the miniscule. (6 interviews)

Finally, each chapter or transcribed interview begins with a line-drawn portrait of the particular scientist being interviewed. As well, there are five figures (in the form of line-drawings) found throughout the book.

In conclusion, if you want to know the thoughts and ideas of some scientists from around the world, then this book is a must-read!!

(first published 2007; forward; introduction and acknowledgments; 4 parts or 36 chapters (transcribed interviews); main narrative 315 pages; about the book's scientists; about the book's editors; recommended further readings; list of figures and tables; index)


A lively question-and-answer interview style  Nov 5, 2007
MIND, LIFE AND UNIVERSE: CONVERSATIONS WITH GREAT SCIENTISTS OF OUR TIME provides a review of the latest research on life and its origins - and the thoughts of scientists and researchers on the process and findings. Punset's questions capture the research lives, work and perspectives of these scientists, blending a lively question-and-answer interview style with background history and scientific insights. Perfect for not just college-level collections in science and supplementary classroom reading and discussion on scientific debates and dialogue, but for general-interest libraries seeking further connections between lay readers and scientific research paths.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch

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