Book Report Sample: Genius

Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman

Author’s Name and General Background

The Book on “Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman” was authored by James Gleick in the year 1993. Richard Feynman was one of the most brilliant people who shaped the evolution of science and provided robust theories which are studied by young modern scientists (Gleick, 1993). The book covers a bibliography of Richard Feynman, perceived as a genius by his colleagues. He did things that most people found extraordinary. Most of his works were inclined to science and its growth. The status of his reputation in the community shaped the way he perceived significant aspects of science. James describes Feynman as an ambitious person who was exceptional in his works but couldn’t balance his social life. The personal experience on the death of his wife left him estranged in life and bitter. Additionally, James states that despite his approach to ladies, Richard did not live to his expectations as he failed to achieve his social life. The setbacks did not turn away his contributions to the growth and development of science. Most importantly, it left most of his work stalled for some period. He designed technical projects such as building nuclear weapons and Radioactivity aspects. He aimed to develop himself as a young Einstein. Richard is arguable one of the most remarkable and greatest scientists in the twentieth century (Gleick, 1993). His contributions to science led to numerous prizes. Richard won the Nobel Peace Prize. His Nobel Prize-winning was a result of his project work on the atomic bomb, which created a different path on science.

There are numerous reasons as to why James Gleick might have written this book. First are the ambition and the reputation that his colleagues had given Richard Feynman. His power to view things differently was outstanding and might have persuaded the author to have an interest in the magic power used by Richard. Secondly, the contributions and works of Richard on science have shaped the way young scientists view science and also the way it has changed to scientific theories. James also was interested in what Richard would have achieved on the years that he wasted when he lacked proper focus on his social life. He allowed many women to his life following the death of her first love, and hence he lost direction on his work (Gleick, 1993). Lastly, James might have authored the book as a way of providing more in-depth insights and issues that great scientists like Feynman encountered as a way of teaching young scientists.

The focus of the book

The focus of the book is on the life and contributions of Feynman, who was one of the most decorated scientists behind Einstein in the twentieth century. Despite winning the Nobel peace prize, some other remarkable theories and philosophies are attributed to Feynman. The author points out the contributions that were made by Feynman that has led to the growth of science in real life. The life of Feynman was extraordinary as he was brilliant in science and failed in social life. James puts the development of his life as a love and painful story. The author also focuses on the diverse lifestyle of a tragic ending. The most prominent part of the book is the Manhattan project and the role that it played most importantly on the theoretical diffusion problem (Gleick, 1993).

Additionally, Feynman contributed to setting up the uranium that was pivotal for the nuclear reaction and radioactivity. Moreover, Feynman achieved numerous expansions on the quantum electrodynamics, weak and strong forces of interactions. These types of work have been integral for a more profound discovery on science and the achievement of modern nuclear science. 

Take-outs From the Book

There are significant take-outs from the book to reflect. First is the overwhelming passion and ambition in solving complex problems that most people refused to work on. Based on his genius in solving complex problems by simplifying them into simple ideas, we can learn how to deal and execute plans on complex ideas by making them more straightforward. Additionally, the need to have life balance and building intelligence is essential for young scientist. The most notable aspect in the life of Feynman was failing on one side and achieving numerous successes on the other side of life (Gleick, 1993). Feynman couldn’t balance his social life which distracted him from navigating on science which might have hindered much of his achievements. The other aspect is on having high understanding analogies in visualization and predicting concepts in theoretical science. For example, as a modern scientist, one way to achieve projects in science is through visualizing crucial concepts before embarking on the plans. On this note, building one’s model provides the ability to deal with scientific issues in science collectively. A sense of empathy is also a significant aspect that we can learn from the book. Before Feynman embarked on an experimental project, he developed a sense of empathy where he put himself first on the issues that he had to address. For example, the weak and strong forces of interaction, he put himself and acted as molecules and atoms to have a deep understanding of the concepts. It provides a tight grasp of what one can expect in real life. Lastly, developing self-awareness on your strengths as a way of minimizing lost time, as shown by the social life of Feynman, is a crucial part of the life of a scientist.

How the Book Changes or Challenges My Thoughts

In summary, there are significant issues that have been addressed by the book. The book has changed my mindset on approaching complex problems not only in science but also in real life. My approach to the problem was based on directly solving puzzles and taking issues step by step. From the discussion on the achievements of Feynman, as stated by James Gleick, the best way to solve complex science and social problems is to have an understanding of the problem and to have a sense of empathy. By developing a sense of compassion and understanding the problem, complex issues can be translated into more straightforward simpler questions and hence solving the problem efficiently. Additionally, the book has challenged my thought on the importance of social life balance. From the achievements of Feynman, it is evident that he failed in his social life and distracted his works in science for a significant period. It has challenged my social life, and the best way to succeed is developing intelligence on the strengths as opposed to my weaknesses. Moreover, striking a balance in social life is a crucial aspect as it provides a stable mentality that is pivotal for the achievement of your goals. Lastly, having a stringent mindset on your decision is significant to improve your development and expansion of your projects.