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David Epstein has surely secured a position as a premiere science writer with this book. It must, indeed, have been a devil of a beast to organise, but the end result is fantastic. In these times of hyper specialisation and declining research gains, this has got to be a game changer. Epstein takes us smoothly through the evidence - from a wide collection of fields - that shows that early, intense specialisation can be quite counter-productive for individuals, organisations and society itself. He busts many myths about how to achieve success in science, the arts, business, sports and education that will interest parents, teachers, universities, grant givers, CEOs, investment analysts, doctors and so on. In short, the lessons set out in this book will benefit every person on the planet if heeded. The prose style is tight and highly accessible, the examples of problems, solutions and research well-chosen and there are copious notes for following up anything that particularly sparks your interest. Much of what is presented comes directly from interviews - from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
I love podcasts and books that dig into the way we as a society operate, and particularly when it comes to looking at what we can do to be better or create better communities or organizations.
I am not a sports person but it is pretty common for researchers and writers to compare business to sports. I guess they think it’s easier for readers to get their head around more complex theories if they can relate it to the sports they watch.
In any case, I consider myself very much a generalist so I found it interesting to relate my life and career progress to the theories in this book. I agree that the fact I haven’t focussed too narrowly in my career has given me opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had. And it keeps life interesting.
Easy and enjoyable to read. Fascinating case studies and well researched. This book provides hope to all those who have a lot of interests but never been able to consolidate into one particular area - until now.
Similar to Malcolm Gladwell, David Epstein just has a way of writing that makes it fun to read.
This book explores the difference of knowing a little about a lot versus a lot about a little, and gives some fun, new stories to reinforce his view that it's the generalists who will triumph as the world becomes more specialized.
This book was wonderful to read and had definitely helped in giving my some ideas for what I am currently working on - I look forward to a world where more polymaths roam this planet and I am working toward one day being able to gain that very status in society myself