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Forrest Mims: The Making of a Maverick Scientist

Photo source: Courtesy of Forrest Mims.

What does it take to be a scientist? For Forrest Mims, the answer is simple: you just have to do science. On a new episode of ID the Future, I begin a two-part conversation with a man who has forged an impressive scientific career on curiosity, determination, and a lot of hard work. Named “one of the 50 best brains in science” by Discover Magazine, Mims has been an instrument designer, science writer, and consultant for NASA an NOAA. He has published over 60 books. His Radio Shack technology books alone have sold over 7.5 million copies. His columns have appeared in Scientific AmericanPopular Electronics, The Citizen Scientist, and elsewhere. His scientific publications have appeared in NatureScienceThe Journal of Molecular EvolutionApplied Optics, and other journals.

In this episode, Mims takes us back to his childhood to show us how his parents and early experiences inspired his later scientific pursuits. Mims dishes on his exploits as a young inventor, experiencing a volcanic eruption, an early lesson in respect for electricity, the thrill of watching a Sputnik rocket booster race across the sky, and the chain of events that led to his co-founding of MITS, the company that pioneered the personal computing era. He also discusses his brief but memorable association with America’s oldest magazine, Scientific American, and how a potential career setback became a catalyst for remarkable achievements in atmospheric science. 

Download the podcast or listen to it here. This is Part 1 of a two-part interview. Look for Part 2 next!

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