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← Brief Scientific Autobiography

AllanW's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by AllanW

44. Comment #441606 by Richard Dawkins on December 13, 2009 at 10:28 am

I am genuinely curious to know whether this experiment in scientific autobiography works, and whether the same level of detachment from personal emotions would carry over to a book-length autobiography.


I for one think this extended exercise of yours works.

It is normally only in the more lavish and voluminous biographies that it's possible to piece together the motivations, developments and milestones in thinking that contribute to the end product of a noteworthy thinker. This is only possible by assiduously raking through hundreds if not thousands of pages to extract these nuggets from the sea of other details that surrounds them; a book aimed at doing this for the reader would be very welcome indeed.

A second reason why I'd urge you to undertake the proposed work is that for someone who has had such a wide and remarkable influence upon not just your own field but society in a wider sense it would be unusual to get your own perspective on your scientific development and insights. We are most often only served these insights by biographers many years after the subjects' death and while they can be entertaining and illuminating, I'd rather hear from you.

Finally I'd hazard the guess that the literary work you are contemplating is so obviously within the range of your skills that it would be a shame not to demonstrate once again that exceptional writing skills need not be distant from scientific themes.

Go to it, please.

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 10:59:00 UTC | #423055