In this book, over a 100 scientist and other intellectuals answer the question, “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” The answers vary wildly and by-and-large are interesting and helpful.
I found it interesting that most people picked an idea outside of their expertise. That makes sense though: these are ideas from other branches of science that they found useful to their own studies and lives.
As one might expect of a book that includes Richard Dawkins, the anti-God bias in the book can, at times, be quite strong. I still think that there are plenty of things that can be learned from a book like this.
Another nit-picky thing is that this book is that it’s obvious that it’s a gathering of a large number of different people’s writings. While John Brockman does a good job of organizing them so that similar concepts appear together, some of the same facts and anecdotes show up several different times. This comes off as a bit disjointed.
If you’re someone who dabbles in science as I do, I would recommend this book. It’s not difficult to understand: it’s written for “everybody,” after all.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of This Will Make You Smarter in exchange for this review.