A personal and engaging tribute to nature from a world-famous theoretical physicist.
Marcelo Gleiser has had a passion for science and fishing since he was a boy growing up on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. As a world-famous theoretical physicist with hundreds of scientific articles and several books of popular science to his credit, he felt it was time to once again connect with nature in less theoretical ways. After seeing a fly-fishing class on the Dartmouth College green, he decided to learn to fly-fish, a hobby, he says, that teaches humility. In The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected, Gleiser travels the world to scientific conferences, fishing wherever he goes. At each stop, he ponders the myriad ways physics informs the act of fishing; how, in its turn, fishing serves as a lens into nature’s inner workings; and how science engages with questions of meaning and spirituality, inspiring a sense of mystery and awe of the not yet known. Personal and engaging, The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected is a scientist’s tribute to nature, an affirmation of humanity’s deep connection with and debt to Earth, and an exploration of the meaning of existence, from atom to trout to cosmos.
This softcover edition features a new essay by Gleiser on how we need a profound change of worldview if we are to have a vibrant future for our species in this fragile environment. He describes how this book was an incubator for his current thinking.
About the Author
Marcelo Gleiser, winner of the Templeton Prize, is the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House and National Science Foundation. He is the author of several books of popular science, including A Tear at the Edge of Creation, The Dancing Universe, and The Island of Knowledge. Gleiser is cofounder of and a regular contributor to the NPR science blog 13.7 Cosmos and Culture.
“You will not learn how to fly fish from this book. You may decide to try it out. Or you may feel inclined to go on your own spiritual journey and reconnect with nature.”
— The Citizen (Vermont)
“The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected is an elegantly written, introspective, and thought-provoking meditation on growing up as someone curious about the universe. It’s a wonderful introduction to the human side of science and the scientific side of being human.” — Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture