By Istvan Hargittai, PhD, DSc
Prometheus Books, $26.00, 338 pages
Science is always the hardest subject to get anyone interested in. Drive and Curiosity: What Fuels the Passion for Science looks at fifteen scientists to see why they do what they do, and how they distinguished themselves above their colleagues. It is a fascinating look at what science is all about, from the human side of the equation, and how logic must be complemented by emotion, and how willpower without perseverance is useless.
Interestingly, the book tends to look quickly at the inspiration, and then focus at the contributions of the scientist in question. This hardly discounts it, as the people chosen are inspirational in their own right; it just seems a pity that the book concentrates more on the biographical details and not what the scientists really tick. Combined with the dry, formal manner it is written in it seems to dissect the scientist rather than explore them. Nonetheless, this is a book that should be read by any aspiring scientists or those that think scientists are cold people with no real life of their own; this may inspire them to reconsider that opinion.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim