Over the next few months, I want to pay individual tribute to some of the great scientists who are helping us to understand genetics, talent and intelligence in a whole new way.
In our Data Smog world of endless info and hyper-complexity, we all rely on trusted sources more than ever. It's a chain of trust: journalists rely on experts they trust most; citizens rely on journalists they trust most.
For the book I just finished, I'd estimate that I spent about 1/3 of my research time trying to identify trusted scientists. It's an exhaustive process. One doesn't want to simply latch on to those with a shared ideology. Rather, you carefully wade through a sea of scientific research, develop a sense of the different approaches, and slowly intuit which few minds seem to have the best handle on what's out there.
His book bio said he was at the University of Tennessee, but by the time we got in touch, he happened to live a few hundred feet away from me in Brooklyn. This bit of luck ended up making my book stronger in a number of ways.
Massimo has for many years been a working (and teaching) biologist but has lately taken on the burdens of a public philosopher. He's helped me sort through the intricacies of gene expression and heritability, and helps others think through all sorts of other interesting matters in his blog "Rationally Speaking."