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Letters to a Young Scientist

I recently finished reading Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward Wilson, which is a collection of letters written by the distinguished biologist as advice for a budding researcher. I thought the book was a great read, not just due to the gems of advice scattered throughout the text, but also due to the author’s candid prose. Books of this nature can often become overly preaching, but the friendliness of the author’s tone exemplifies the message and provides a genuine glimpse into a working scientist’s creative process. If you’re short on time (or don’t have the patience to read a book in its’ entirety), then hopefully these highlights provide you with a gist of the content. I’d highly recommend reading it in the original though, since:

  1. I think highlights provide a lossy transmission of the content, often missing important contextual information from surrounding paragraphs.
  2. Reading only highlights can result in a wildly different interpretation from the original (resulting from the sampling bias of only seeing selected highlights).

Regardless, I hope you’re able to enjoy the message as much as I did (and a glimpse of these highlights convinces you to take the leap and read the original). Onwards!


Written October 7, 2020. Send feedback to @bhaprayan.

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