From Publishers Weekly
Editor Brockman, an agent at a "literary and software agency," approached some of the world's rising science stars in a disciplines to explain how they're "tackling some of science's toughest questions and raising new ones." The 18 new essays that resulted evoke a fantastic cross-section of societal concerns, focusing largely on issues of ethics and the human mind. German neuroscientist Christian Keysers explains how mirror neurons, located in the brain's center of voluntary action and body-control, allow us to have vicarious experiences and use them to choose "good and not evil" when dealing with others. Psychologist Jason Mitchell expands this idea to "social thought," in which humans achieve sophisticated coordination with the actions of others in order to, for instance, "design, construct, and operate an airplane." Biologist Vanessa Woods and anthropologist Brian Hare team up to explain how dogs evolved an ability to read human minds superior to even our closest primate relatives. Other articles cover quantum field theory, climate change, the ecological niche of viruses, social insects and interdisciplinary science. This absorbing collection makes easy-to-read but thought-provoking material for even casual science buffs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Captivating. . . . Diverse. . . . While each essay is its own gem, together they form a remarkable dialogue about what it is to be human now, and what it will be in the future. . . . Fascinating.”
“Like reading a set of interesting blog posts, but on paper. And most of these folks don’t have blogs!”
—Discover Magazine’s “Things Going On” blog
“Engrossing. . . . Offers a youthful spin on some of the most pressing scientific issues of today—and tomorrow. . . . Super smart and interesting.”
—New York Observer’s “Very Short List”
“A fantastic cross-section of societal concerns, focusing largely on issues of ethics and the human mind. . . . This absorbing collection makes easy-to-read but thought-provoking material for even casual science buffs.”
“Capaciously accessible, these writings project a curiosity to which followers of science news will gravitate.”
“If these authors are the future of science, then the science of the future will be one exciting ride! Find out what the best minds of the new generation are thinking before the Nobel Committee does. A fascinating chronicle of the big, new ideas that are keeping young scientists up at night.”
—Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness
“A preview of the ideas you're going to be reading about in ten years.”
—Steven Pinker, author of The Stuff of Thought