The rollicking memoir from the cardiologist turned legendary scientist and winner of the Nobel Prize that revels in the joy of science and discovery.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Stockholm: The Adrenaline-Fueled Adventures of an Accidental Scientist
September 1, 2020
Courtesy of Robert Lefkowitz
- What initially drew you to this book? A professional career in science/medicine or curiosity about those worlds? If the former, do you have any professional takeaways? If the latter, what about Bob’s story have you taken away for your own professional aspirations?
- How do you think Bob’s Jewish background shaped his career path?
- Many of Bob’s friends, colleagues, and mentor’s are true characters in the narrative. Which relationship(s) do you feel was most pivotal to his path to the Nobel prize?
- Family has been the one constant in Bob’s life, from his relationship with his parents, to the birth of his first child to his five children growing into adults. How has his family life informed his scientific career and vice versa?
- Then there is Bob’s “Scientific Family,” which stretches through multiple “generations” and across international borders. How has Bob’s affection and enthusiasm for his scientific family been important for his career? In what ways has it been important for his trainees?
- Speaking of mentoring, which of the ten “golden rules for mentoring” listed in Chapter 24 do you think is the most crucial? Which of these rules was the most surprising to you?
- An important theme in the book is the importance of narrative in medicine, research, writing, and life in general. How do you think attention to narrative has shaped Bob’s life and career?
- What most surprised you about Bob’s trip to Stockholm to receive his Nobel Prize?
- Humor is a huge part of the narrative and Bob’s personality. What was your favorite humorous anecdote in the book?
- Bob is open about his quadruple bypass and his recovery. What surprised you about his shift from doctor to patient?
- Do you have any teachers or mentors that this book reminded you of?
- If you could ask Bob one question, what would it be and why?
- Bob maintains that serendipity has played a big role in his life and career. What stories in the book illustrate this good fortune?
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