As a boy growing up on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Gleiser had a passion for fishing. Years later, 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 connect with nature again in less theoretical ways. After watching 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, Marcelo describes how he travels the world to attend scientific conferences, fishing wherever he goes. At each stop, he ponders the myriad ways in which physics informs the act of fishing; considers how fishing in its turn serves as a lens into nature’s inner workings; and explains how science engages with questions of meaning and spirituality, inspiring a sense of awe in the face 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.
What People Are Saying About The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected:
“The fly-fishing is naively beautiful. The physics is just beautiful. But the conclusion to the journey of a man so engaged by both—the epiphany—is magnificent and should be shared by us all.”
— Jeremy Lucas, European Open flyfishing champion, author of The Last Salmon
“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: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
“Whether teasing apart the known, the unknown, and the unknowable in science, or immersing us in the natural world of Brazil or Iceland, Marcelo Gleiser’s words sing on the page. You don’t have to fish or seek out spiritual experiences to love this book.”
— Barbara King, author of How Animals Grieve
“With wit, charm, humor, and passion, Gleiser pulls off that rarest of catches—connecting the most fundamental and sublime aspects of science with the most intimate and ordinary experience of fishing.”
— Adam Frank, NPR commentator