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Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, Edward O. Wilson has distilled sixty years of teaching into a book for students, young and old. Wilson threads these twenty-one letters, each richly illustrated, with autobiographical anecdotes that illuminate his career - both his successes and his failures - and his motivations for becoming a biologist. At a time when our survival is more than ever linked to our understanding of science, Wilson insists that success in the sciences does not depend on mathematical skill but rather a passion for finding a problem and solving it. From the collapse of stars to the exploration of rain forests and the oceans' depths, Wilson instills a love of the innate creativity of science and a respect for the human being's modest place in the planet's ecosystem, in his readers.