From the 2021 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, a remarkable journey into the practice of groundbreaking science
‘Giorgio Parisi is renowned for his scientific creativity, originality, and power. In this exhilarating little book, he shows his human side, too. By its end, readers will feel they’ve made a charming, witty new friend’ Frank Wilczek
The world is shaped by complexity. In this enlightening book, Nobel Prize winner Giorgio Parisi guides us through his unorthodox yet exhilarating work to show us how. It all starts with investigating the principles of physics by observing the sophisticated flight patterns of starlings. Studying the movements of these birds, he has realized, proves an illuminating way into understanding complex systems of all kinds – collections of everything from atoms to planets to other animals like ourselves.
Along the way, Parisi reflects on the lessons he’s taken from a life in pursuit of scientific truth: the importance of serendipity to the discovery of new ideas, the surprising kinship between physics and other fields of study and the value of science to a thriving society. In so doing, he removes the practice of science from the confines of the laboratory and into the real world. Complexity is all around us – from climate to finance to biology, it offers a unique way of finding order in chaos.
Part elegant scientific treatise, part thrilling intellectual journey, In a Flight of Starlings is an invitation to find wonder in the world around us.