A couple of books

I went today to a Borders bookstore where Steven Johnson was talking about his new book, Mind Wide Open. I wrote here not long ago that popular science has become indeed popular in the US. However, this venue could not count as supporting evidence: in a city as large and as diverse as Houston only about a dozen people gathered to see a guy who is probably one of the best science writers around. He is certainly one of the best ‘science speakers’. I haven’t read yet any of his books, but bought now two of them (Emergence and Mind Wide Open), and hardly can wait to start going through them. Emergence must have some similarities to ‘Linked‘, written by my fellow Transylvanian Albert-László Barabási.

For now, I still have to work on Jonathan Weiner’s ‘The beak of the finch’. It is a great book, with a somewhat different perspective from what I got used to in writings by Dawkins or Pinker. Apart from learning quite a bit about how evolution works (not in theory, but in practice, in the field), it also gives good insight into the research process. Reading about how the Grants and their graduate students were essentially tracking evolution on a small island, sometimes I think about how nice it would have been if I knew exactly what questions I wanted to answer when I started my PhD 🙂 …

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