I wanted to put a good word in for Alan Lightman’s new book A Sense of the Mysterious. It’s a collection of essays he’s written over the last several years, and if you want to get a sense of his work this is a good place to start.
Lightman is a physicist at MIT, and he can popularize science when he wants to, but he’s more one of the rare people who understands science but has the heart of a writer, a sensitive heart that is able to communicate the joys and the travails of what it’s like to be a scientist.
He does this not only from his own point of view, but is equally adept at portraying other scientists as well. He reminds me of Jeremy Bernstein, but with even more of an appreciation for the humanity of science. Check it out.