Gero Miesenböck is Waynflete Professor of Physiology at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Magdalen College. Miesenböck is the founder of the emerging field of optogenetics. He has developed genetic strategies for visualizing and controlling nerve cells with light. He has invented several methods, including genetically targeted photostimulation of neurons and optical imaging of neurotransmission with synapto-pHluorin, a derivative of the green fluorescent protein. He has also been a pioneer in the use of flies to study neural circuits.

The Temperature of History: Phases of Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century

The Temperature of History: Phases of Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century

by Stephen G. Brush

“Nineteenth-century physics as part of general culture. One of the finest examples of contextual history of science that I know.”

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Simple Spells for Love: Ancient Practices for Emotional Fulfillment

Simple Spells for Love: Ancient Practices for Emotional Fulfillment

by Barrie Dolnick

“This book played an important role when I met my wife. Surprised? She is the author.”

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Independence Day

Independence Day

by Richard Ford

“I love all three volumes of the Frank Bascombe trilogy but have a particular fondness for this, the second. The book is a nuanced portrait of middle age; it is lyrical and at the same time wildly entertaining.”

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Art and Illusion

Art and Illusion

by E. H. Gombrich

“Artists represent what they know, not what they see.”

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A Mathematician's Apology

A Mathematician’s Apology

by G. H. Hardy

“What it means to have creative powers and lose them.”

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Ulysses

Ulysses

by James Joyce

“One of the greatest compliments ever paid to the English language. Imagine Joyce would have had to do this in German.”

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Nerve, Muscle and Synapse

Nerve, Muscle and Synapse

by Bernard Katz

“A powerful antidote to medical school, this short textbook showed that biology could be treated in a principled manner. A similarly lucid account, of how living matter gives rise to intelligent behavior, is Howard Berg’s ‘E. coli in Motion’.”

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The Man Without Qualities

The Man Without Qualities

by Robert Musil

“The second-best opening sentence in literature. And the 2,000 pages that follow aren’t bad either.”

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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

by Laurence Sterne

“The progenitor of all avant-garde novels.”

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Beautiful Evidence

Beautiful Evidence

by Edward R. Tufte

“How visual displays can speak for themselves—clearly, memorably, and beautifully.”

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