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Summary

Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson imparts the wisdom of his storied career to the next generation.

Edward O. Wilson has distilled sixty years of teaching into a book for students, young and old. Reflecting on his coming-of-age in the South as a Boy Scout and a lover of ants and butterflies, Wilson threads these twenty-one letters, each richly illustrated, with autobiographical anecdotes that illuminate his career - both his successes and his failures - and his motivations for becoming a biologist. At a time in human history when our survival is more than ever linked to our understanding of science, Wilson insists that success in the sciences does not depend on mathematical skill, but rather a passion for finding a problem and solving it. From the collapse of stars to the exploration of rain forests and the oceans’ depths, Wilson instills a love of the innate creativity of science and a respect for the human being’s modest place in the planet’s ecosystem in his readers.

©2013 Edward O. Wilson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Letters to a Young Scientist

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much about ants

There is useful information in here, but many irrelevant or too extented stories (for me a little boring)

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Enchanting and exciting

Very interseting learning how Edward O. Wilson carved his career and all the helpful advice he gives in this fantastic book to future generations of scientists. He talks about his career in Antomology, although these creatures appear small, he writes about them in a way which can be transfered into the biggest of biologicial studies. Highly recomend this book to any one at the begining of their science studies or career.

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A nice book to read

Its a really good book for those who want to pursue a career as a scientist.

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for aspiring scientists

must read, an honest inside perspective of a scientist. well thought out and never a bore.

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For those is science, this is a must!

Just finished up my PhD and moving on to a Postdoctoral fellowship. I think I'll be writing the principles shared here on my wall for safe keeping!

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  • Mr
  • 09-10-15

Wonderful!

When I was in my scientific training I wish that this book had been written. It provides much in the way of encouragement and is full of heart, providing hope to the many undergraduate scientists out there. Particularly, for those students wondering if there is a future in their chosen fields and those in high school considering a career in science, you all must read this book!

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  • A. Mandelin
  • 02-08-18

Long on biography, short on advice

maybe I am imagining it but I thought the description of this book suggested that it would give advice in surviving in science in the current political climate of science bashing and fake news

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Katie
  • 21-01-17

Inspiring and thought provoking

Dry details but overall reassuring for someone questioning whether or not to pursue a career in science.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Diego Zárrate
  • 23-10-17

love it

Great book for either beginning or continuing biology and ecology professionals. a lot of great advices to move forward.

2 people found this helpful

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  • deanna taylor
  • 24-02-20

Inspiring and Motivating

So many times I've said " I wish I could absorb all the knowledge and wisdom of influential people in science". This book provides that opportunity
and gives some amazing advise to young scientist as well as to seasoned scientist. In the beginning the narrator is hard to understand but by the middle of the book he does become easier to understand.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jc 550m
  • 13-12-19

great candid guidance to have a rewarding career

content and candidness are great . very good to listen to on way to work

1 person found this helpful

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  • cds48
  • 22-03-19

Good for a young scientist (In biology)

I think if I were just going to college I would like this book more, but even then there are long stretches of the book where Wilson just goes on about research he did and experiences he had in order to make a single point.

If you find ecology, biology, and info about ants (his main field of study) and other insect species fun to learn about then you will love this book more than I did.

I thought I was getting a book about "lessons learned being a scientist," but got a book about "the study of ants with a couple bits of advice" (mostly at the beginning).

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 30-11-18

Not for me

I found it boring I would zone out and find myself having to just back to the last thing I rememered

1 person found this helpful

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  • Catherine Puma
  • 27-12-20

Short Advice Series from Famous Scientist

In this part-discussion of science careers, part-memoir, Dr. Edward O. Wilson offers advice and support for young scientists. I loved listening to this, as it is pretty much exactly what I was searching for, and as a budding scientific researcher myself, it was exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my career.

Edward O. Wilson is famous for his expertise in ants, co-founding the terminology "Evolutionary Biology", and with MacArthur describing the Theory of Island Biogeography. In addition to the advice he gives to young scientists, Wilson frames his wisdom through stories of his youth, early career, research triumphs and toils, and experience as a mentor. It was so refreshing to hear of his exploits and extremely heartening to hear such a renown scientist speak about the potential and encouragement of new professionals without being patronizing or overly judgmental.

This is a great short read for anyone in the sciences or STEM career, whether pre-science career, early career, or even later in their career. I think there is a lot to gain from this, and is good food for thought. I am so glad I listened to this at this point in my life, while I am in graduate school studying Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management, and I can see myself coming back to this in order to re-read its wise words some day.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-08-19

odd voice changes

It was very obvious that there was a second reader chiming in to complete some statements and trying to match the voice of the main reader. While it wasn't offputting or bad it pulled me from story briefly every time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-18

Genuinely changed and enriched my life and career

I cannot put into words what this book and it's excellent narration means to people like or even unlike myself.