Autobiographies and Public Understanding

The review of my book A Life in Science (The Scientist, November 17, 1986, p. 23) leads me to remember other autobiographies I have enjoyed, including that of Max Born showing how little help he got in the German universities before 1914 and that of my friend Rudolf Peierls on the role he played in the Manhattan Project. I think that many of us in the scientific community, who know and respect our colleagues, are fascinated to know what they think about themselves. An important question, however

Nevill Mott
Jan 11, 1987
The review of my book A Life in Science (The Scientist, November 17, 1986, p. 23) leads me to remember other autobiographies I have enjoyed, including that of Max Born showing how little help he got in the German universities before 1914 and that of my friend Rudolf Peierls on the role he played in the Manhattan Project. I think that many of us in the scientific community, who know and respect our colleagues, are fascinated to know what they think about themselves.

An important question, however, is can our autobiographies increase the public's understanding of science? The lack of understanding gives concern both in your country and mine; television and public lectures are pressed into service to correct it. I do not know whether autobiographies can help, though I hope so. I tried in my book to confine the technical parts to two chapters. The most encouraging remark...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?