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Physicist Leonard Mlodinow on how human achievement resulted from stubborn pursuit of simple questions

Galileo Galilei Mausoleum - Basilica di Santa Croce - Florence, Italy
Galileo Galilei Mausoleum - Basilica di Santa Croce - Florence, Italy
Dennis Redfield via Flickr

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Did you know that Galileo preferred painting and poetry to medicine and dropped out of university? Or that Isaac Newton stuck needlelike bodkins into his eyes to better understand changes in light and color? Or that Antoine Lavoisier drank nothing but milk for two weeks to examine its effects on his body?

These are just some of the stories physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow recounts in his new book tracing the history of human progress and pivotal moments in the development of science.  

He'll be speaking at Vroman's in Pasadena tomorrow at 7 p.m. Click here for more information. 


Leonard Mlodinow, a former professor of physics at Caltech and the author of “The Upright Thinkers: The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos.” His other books include two co-authored with physicist Stephen Hawking and “The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives”