Lewis Thomas made biology fun

During my freshman year in college (1986-87), one of the more eclectic items on the reading list of my honors English class was Lewis Thomas’s Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

The book gave me several gifts.

First of all, I learned that the sciences can be fun. Secondly (and closely related to the first), I learned the value of being well-rounded, both academically and experientially. 

At that point in my life, I considered myself an “arts and letters” person. I often disdained science and math, as well as more practical tasks like automobile maintenance. 

Now I know better. I want to learn everything. I am, in many ways, far more open-minded at 51 than I was at 19.

While this book is not entirely responsible for that shift, it did play a role.