By Stefan Klein
“What distinguishes scientists, on your eyes?”—Stefan Klein
“First and optimal, curiosity.”—Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize–winning chemist
When Stefan Klein, an acclaimed journalist, sits right down to speak with 18 of the world’s major scientists, he unearths they’re pushed via, especially, interest. after they discuss their paintings, they flip to what’s subsequent, to what they nonetheless wish to find. and so they see proposal all over: From the activities vehicle that physicist Steven Weinberg says helped him on his quest for “the idea of every thing” to the jazz musicians who gave psychologist Alison Gopnik new perception into elevating youngsters, they demonstrate how their paradigm-changing paintings entwines with their lives outdoors the lab. We listen from remarkable usual and social scientists, including:
- Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on ego and selflessness
- Primatologist Jane Goodall on chimpanzee behavior
- Neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran on consciousness
- Geographer Jared Diamond on probability in history
- Anthropologist Sarah Hrdy on motherhood
- And cosmologist Martin Rees on how “ultimately we ourselves are stardust.”
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Additional resources for We Are All Stardust: Scientists Who Shaped Our World Talk about Their Work, Their Lives, and What They Still Want to Know
When they feel that somebody else is getting a better deal than they are. We have to make allowance for that. They even say that when it’s inanimate nature that’s being unfair. “Unfair! ” Do you think we should make allowance for our sense of fairness even when, as you point out, it’s so often irrational? Indeed, we do not even mind hardships as long as everybody else is struggling with them as well. And we don’t like feeling that somebody else is getting away with something. In a country like Britain, where people pretty much will pay their taxes, I don’t mind paying taxes.
ALSO BY STEFAN KLEIN Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along Leonardo’s Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life’s Scarcest Commodity The Science of Happiness: How Our Brains Make Us Happy—and What We Can Do to Get Happier We Are All Stardust Scientists Who Shaped Our World Talk about Their Work, Their Lives, and What They Still Want to Know Stefan Klein Translated by Ross Benjamin Contents Introduction ON THE COURAGE TO SPEND A LIFETIME SEARCHING We Are All Stardust • COSMOLOGIST MARTIN REES • ON THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE WORLD The Genes of the Good • EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGIST RICHARD DAWKINS • ON EGOISM AND SELFLESSNESS In the Hall of Illusions • NEUROSCIENTIST V.
If you look at the recruiting propaganda, say, in the First World War, on both sides you would see huge social pressure. ” Anybody who doesn’t join up is a coward, a traitor. Girls won’t go out with him. And so the rational strategy in war would be not to go, to be a pacifist. But then other considerations, which may have their own Darwinian advantage, like wanting to be popular, wanting to be especially popular with women, wanting not to be looked down upon, not to be seen as a coward, not to be despised, wanting to conform with social norms—these are all pressures that have their impact for Darwinian reasons.