Part memoir, part mentoring, and part history of science, ecological icon E.O. Wilson offers up this series of 20 letters of advice to those beginning - or thinking of beginning - a life in science.
examines how to choose a path to follow, the widely variable creative
process, what a life in science entails, and bigger picture dynamics.
Along the way he provides insights from his own path and the field on
which he is a renowned expert - ants.
His final letter concerns the
scientific ethic, in which he emphasizes a scientist's relationships
with other scientists. His final advice reminds me of Abraham Lincoln's
counsel to "if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer,
resolve to be honest without being a lawyer." Wilson's version for
scientists is "But never, ever will fraud be forgiven. The penalty is
professional death: exile, never again to be trusted."
many wise words from this most accomplished and wise man. While
designed to inspire and advise young scientists, the book is well worth
reading for scientists at any stage of their career.
[NOTE: This is part of a series of reviews for books related to science, science communication, and/or specific science topics such as climate change. To read reviews of other books, click Book Reviews.]