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Interview :: Environment
Interview with John Whitfield, author of In The Beat Of A Heart: Life, Energy, And The Unity Of Nature
11 Oct 2006
In the Beat of a Heart combines biography, history, science and nature writing to capture the exciting advances—and the people who are making them—that are triggering a revolution as potentially important to biology as Newton’s insights were to physics.
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This episode is work safe.

In the Beat of a Heart combines biography, history, science and nature writing to capture the exciting advances—and the people who are making them—that are triggering a revolution as potentially important to biology as Newton’s insights were to physics. John Whitfield is a London-based science writer. After 6 years covering evolution, ecology, and conservation for the journal Nature, his work now appears in numerous prestigious publications including Science, Discover, New Scientist, London Review of Books, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent on Sunday, and BBC Wildlife Magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in insect evolution from the University of Cambridge. In the Beat of a Heart is his first book.

Interview with John Whitfield, author of In The Beat Of A Heart: Life, Energy, And The Unity Of Nature

We discuss his book, In The Beat Of A Heart: Life, Energy, And The Unity Of Nature is about; why biology is not an exact science like mathematics or physics; why he decided to write about a unified theory of life; why he began the book by writing about D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson; aside from whales and elephants, why are there no longer creatures as large as dinosaurs on the planet; how much LSD should you give an elephant; the power law that occurs again and again in nature; why was G. Evelyn Hutchinson’s presidential address, “Homage to Santa Rosalia, or Why Are There so Many Kinds of Animals” one of the most influential lectures in the history of ecology; surprises that came up while writing In The Beat Of A Heart; why he became a science writer; how he became interested in Gamelan music and a member of the South Bank Gamelan Players.

Featured song is “E.O.C.” by Lydian Fortune.


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