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When We Were Kids is a book of original essays by celebrated third culture thinkers - scientists who, through their work and writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are. The authors, all of whom are world-class scientists, are also well-known as authors of books for the general public. The subject and starting point for these 27 essays is the subtitle of the book, but while the narratives focus on early influences and experiences, the essays are informed by the same kind of intelligent scientific thinking and writing for which the contributors are renowned. They include Paul Davies (The Cosmic Blueprint), Richard Dawkins (A Devil's Chaplain), Daniel C. Dennett, (Freedom Evolves), Freeman Dyson (Disturbing the Universe), Murray Gell-Mann (The Quark and the Jaguar), Marc D. Hauser (Wild Minds), Nicholas Humphrey (Conscious Regained), Lynn Margulis (Acquiring Genomes), Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind), Steven Pinker (The Blank State), V. S. Ramachandran (Phantoms in the Brain - co-author), Martin Rees (Our Final Hour), Robert M. Sapolsky (A Primate's Memoir), Lee Smolin (Three Roads to Quantum Gravity). They explore questions such as 'What happened when you were a child that led you to pursue a life of science?' 'What got you interested in your current field of research?' 'Who were your parents, peers, teachers?' 'What were the turning points, influences, epiphanies, mistakes?' Personal, passionate, revealing, enthralling, these essays tell us a great deal about science and about life.
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John Brockman is founder and CEO of Brockman, Inc., an international literary and software agency; president of Edge Foundation, Inc.; publisher and editor of Edge, a Web site presenting the third culture in action; and co-founder of rightscenter.com, Inc., an Internet company. He is the author and/or editor of four books about science.
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