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A Matter of Wonder

What Biology Reveals about Us, Our World, and Our Dreams
Translated by A. Shields

Schatz G. (Basel) 

Status: available   
Publication year: 2011
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Read the reviews


'Schatz's writing is delightful. ...
These gems surely make science accessible to the literate public. Bravo!'
Lubert Stryer

"At the end of the book the author describes the thoughts that come to him when he lies awake at night, and, with reference to Montaigne, he writes: 'My nighttime visitors want to know so many things. Only at dawn do they fall silent. In order to better defend myself against their questions, I am now writing down my answers by the light of day.'
This statement explains the episodic quality of the book. Each of the short chapters can be read independently and provides fascinating and delightful reading. However, there are two aspects that unify and pervade the individual parts of the book. On the one hand the author's love of scientific research, on the other his familiarity with the notion that researchers will always be confronting their limitations whenever they try to decipher the marvelous complexity of human beings and the universe.
The impeccable layout and production of the book are entirely worthy of its contents."
Il Policlinico, Vol. 118, No. 8–9, 2011 (Translated from Italian by the publisher)
A Karger 'Publishing Highlights 1890–2015' title

Where do we come from? Is our destiny determined by the genes we inherit? Do we all see the same blue color when we look at the sky? In this book Gottfried (Jeff) Schatz, the world-renowned biochemist and co-discoverer of mitochondrial DNA, gives lucid - albeit often surprising - answers to universal questions and takes the reader on a fascinating journey of discovery across the boundaries of scientific disciplines. With passion and a keen sense of wonder, he draws on philosophy, cultural history and art to formulate his reflections on the mystery of life. The key to understanding life is to be found in its chemistry, and he proves that this is no dry endeavor and certainly not devoid of beauty. The result is a collection of eloquently and poetically written essays dealing with key issues in the natural sciences. It will appeal not only to scientists, but to all curious minds, regardless of educational and professional background.