Publisher description for The stars are not enough : scientists--their passions and professions / Joseph C. Hermanowicz.


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Based on sixty interviews with physicists at universities across the United States, The Stars are Not Enough offers a detailed and intimate account of the worlds in which scientists work. Joseph C. Hermanowicz looks at a range of scientists from young graduate students to older professionals well into their careers. The result is a colorful portrait of a profession and its diverse cast of characters.

These deeply personal narratives reveal dreams of fame and glory, in which scientists confess their ambitions of becoming the next Newton or Einstein. However, these scientists also discuss the meaning of success and failure. We hear their stories of aspiration and anxiety, disappointment and tragedy, hope and achievement we are privy to their doubts and to what they consider to be their limitations and weaknesses. As the scientists age in their professions, the specter of failure often visits them, and they have to accept something less than scientific immortality or even the Nobel Prize.

Ultimately these stories give us more than an inside look at the details of careers in science, they also examine ambition by uncovering the forces that drive people in their professions and by describing how these forces persist or fade over time. Ambition for greatness often ignites a career and often sustains it. Yet, as Hermanowicz's study reveals, greatness eludes nearly all people in their heroic quests for extraordinary achievement. The Stars Are Not Enough offers a fascinating account that will appeal to anyone interested in how people's dreams blossom and evolve.





Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Scientists Social aspects, Science Vocational guidance