Nobel Life: Conversations with 24 Nobel Laureates on Their Life Stories, Advice for Future Generations and What Remains to be Discovered

Stefano Sandrone. Cambridge Univ, $24.99 (226p) ISBN 978-1-108-83828-3
Interviews with Nobel Laureate chemists, doctors, physicists, and economists are collected in this uneven survey from neuroscientist Sandrone. The topics Sandrone considers range from career-changing breakthroughs to quotidian matters such as “Where do you keep your Nobel diploma and Nobel medal?” In an interview titled “Leadership and Society,” economist Roger B. Myerson discusses how social institutions operate and what can be done to protect democracy, suggesting voters be allowed “to vote for more than one candidate in a winner-takes-all election.” In “I’ll Show You What a Woman Can Do,” virologist Françoise Barré-Sinoussi offers an impassioned take on what needs to be done to defeat HIV in the developing world. Some subjects are near-taciturn (“I never had to choose a career path while growing up. I was just drawn to certain stuff,” offers biochemist Tim Hunt), and there’s often little follow-up from Sandrone in places where more experienced interviewers would have pounced. While some scientists have plenty of verve, the questions tend to be dry (most chapters begins with a question that rephrases the sentence “Professor Richard Ernst, you were born and raised in the Swiss city of Winterthur”) and lacking in direction. Despite the moments of insight, this feels like a missed opportunity. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/10/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-108-97572-8
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