What makes for genius in science? One day we may be able to link it to particularly advantageous patterns of neurons and axons in specific locations of the brain. But even if that day should come, I suspect that a genius for science will always defy our attempts to describe it fully. It’s much easier to acknowledge an example, like that of the late Richard Feynman.

Just as the physics community was beginning to get used to a world without the vibrant presence of Feynman, who passed away last February 15, there comes a reminder of his unique mind and personality. The reminder takes the form of a book entitled What Do You Care What Other People Think? (W.W. Norton, 1988)—a sequel to his enormously popular bestseller published in 1985, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman.

Like the first book, the new volume is chock-full of Feynman tales of life...

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