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Reinventing the Future:
Conversations with the World's Leading Scientists


"This is a book to read in the bath, retell in the common room, and then slap straight into course readings for students.... The result has the liveliness of talk, and the precision of the best science journalism.... Bass’s book could become a text not just for showing new relations between disciplines, or between science and ethics, but of science itself as a link between individual and general understanding."
— Allison Jolly, New Scientist

"Thomas Bass... manages to elicit from the 11 scientists their most brilliant if willfully iconoclastic ideas, as well as their occasional flights of breathtaking braggadocio and even paranoia."
New York Times Book Review

"Let’s get two things straight: The eleven pieces here are not conversations at all, but shaped and distilled interviews. Nor are they with ‘the World’s Leading Scientists,’ but with some of the most controversial of them. In other words, what we have here is more interesting than the title suggests. In addition, Bass has obliged his subjects to render their thoughts and, indeed, reveal themselves in--mirabile dictu--lucid, straightforward language.... [Scientists] represented in this excellent work include Etienne-Emile Baulieu, inventor of RU-486, the ‘abortion pill’; Richard Dawkins, exponent of ‘selfish genes’; Norman Packard, chaos theorist; and Thomas Adeoye Lambo, Nobel Prize-winning psychiatrist."
The Boston Globe

"Bass’s pointed questions about the lives, careers, accomplishments, and controversies of his subjects are answered openly, offering in-depth looks into his subjects’ personalities and work."
Science News

"Doing science is most effective when you are dominated by the need to change your way of thinking. In Reinventing the Future, we get close to the minds of eleven restless individuals who do not dot the "i"s in sentences written by others."
— James D. Watson, Nobel Prize-winning author of The Double Helix

"Reading Reinventing the Future is like having some of the most imaginative thinkers of our time over for dinner and a chat. I can think of no warmer, more intimate introduction to their theories and accomplishments. This is science with a voice, a face, and a heart, inviting you in."
— James Shreeve, Coauthor of Nature: The Other Earthlings and Lucy’s Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor

"The interviews are very informative and engaging.... Bass himself is an intelligent interviewer and an elegant writer (in the book’s introduction), his enthusiasm, respect, and curiosity are in evidence always."

Reinventing the Future "offers a views of science as process. The format of brief question and lengthy response captures the individual voices of the interviewees and yields engaging, informative reading.... Readers will find this collection provocative and intriguing."
Publishers Weekly

"A fascinating glimpse into the views of some extraordinary scientists."
Electronic News

"To be sure, it’s no surprise that scientists like to go their own ways. What Reinventing the Future makes clear is that their independence is deeply entwined with their creativity. Take away one, and the other dies. That’s a message to be heeded by directors of government, academic, and corporate laboratories who have lately been intent on channeling scientists’ efforts into what they see as more productive paths.... Thomas Bass has brought eleven of them to life."
— Peter Coy, Business Week