EDUCATION: Scientists on the Record

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Science  12 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5775, pp. 821
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5775.821d

By instilling a “great faith in mathematical models,” John Maynard Smith's first career as an airplane designer during World War II prepared him to become one of the 20th century's premier evolutionary biologists. Although models incorporate unrealistic assumptions, he learned that they can still be “safe enough to trust your life to.” The venerable British scientist is one of 18 researchers, mathematicians, and doctors who recounted their life stories for Peoples Archive. A London-based company has been filming the reminiscences of artists and other luminaries for the site, most of which is now free. The collection preserves the words of several scientists who have died recently, including Maynard Smith, biologists Francis Crick and Ernst Mayr, and physicists Hans Bethe and Edward Teller.

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