Sunday, June 28, 2009

What is Esther M. Sternberg reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Esther M. Sternberg, author of the recently released Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being (Harvard University Press, 2009).

Her entry begins:
I generally prefer non-fiction to fiction, and tend to read historical biographies, particularly biographies of accomplished women. Most recently I have read the biography Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, by Brenda Maddox; the biography Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd; and the biography Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin. All three of these books not only provide detailed descriptions of the era when these women lived, but also give fascinating insights into the hurdles that they had to overcome in order to accomplish their goals in periods in history when their fields were very much male-dominated. The books are thoughtful in that they reveal character traits in each of these women that helped them make their great contributions despite these challenges and against all odds. The books nonetheless also explore traits that may have hindered them in fully achieving recognition in their own time. The books about scientists (Merian and Franklin) also reveal the history of their particular fields of science, which I find fascinating, in the context of what we know about these fields today.[read on]
Esther M. Sternberg's publications include Healing Spaces and The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, has done extensive research on brain-immune interactions and the effects of the brain's stress response on health. She was on the faculty at Washington University, St. Louis, prior to joining the National Institutes of Health in 1986.

Read an excerpt from Healing Spaces, and learn more about the book at the Harvard University Press website.

Dr. Sternberg is internationally recognized for her discoveries in brain-immune interactions and the effects of the brain's stress response on health: the science of the mind-body interaction. A dynamic speaker, recognized by her peers as a spokesperson for the field, she translates complex scientific subjects in a highly accessible manner, with a combination of academic credibility, passion for science and compassion as a physician. Learn more about her research, publications, and professional activities at Esther M. Sternberg's website.

Writers Read: Esther M. Sternberg.

--Marshal Zeringue