One of his top ten natural histories, as told to the Guardian:
The Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas (1971)Read about another book on the list.
From Loren Eiseley to EO Wilson, the scientist reflecting in essay form on the wonder, beauty and strangeness of nature and on human responsibility is a well-established tradition in the US. Few if any have matched Thomas, a physician who died in 1993 leaving six collections of essays. The Lives of a Cell, dating from around the time of the first photograph of the Earth from space and the discovery that whale song consists of complex organised patterns, is among the best. "We are not the masters of nature that we thought ourselves; we are as dependent on the rest of nature as are the leaves or midges or fish." And again, "We are alive against … stupendous odds … You'd think we'd never stop dancing."