A Conversation With Brian Butterworth

A cheerful English voice, crisp and elegant, asked her the question again. “How many coins do you have there, Signora?” Signora Gaddi stared at the coins in her hand for a long time, and then looked up to smile apologetically at the doctor. It was a soft smile, warm, but tenuous and sad. The corners…

A Conversation with John Bruer

In the opening pages of his recent book, The Myth of the First Three Years—A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning, John Bruer recalls a 1996 phone call he received from a journalist at a national parenting magazine. “Based on neuroscience” she asked, “what can we tell parents about choosing a preschool…

A Conversation With Alison Gopnik

Most parents have, at one time or another, gazed lovingly at their newborn child and wondered whether someday their offspring would grow up to be the next Einstein or Newton. If Alison Gopnik were watching, she might suggest that the newborn in the bassinet doesn’t need to grow up. Perhaps they already think like a…

A Conversation With Howard Gardner

Powerful ideas have universal impact. The concept of Multiple Intelligences, for example, started as a theory in the halls of Harvard University and has now grown to be one of the most influential movements in teaching practices in the 20th century. Instead of seeing the mind as possessing finite quantities of a substance known as…

A Conversation With Marian Diamond

The photographs and worn books that adorn Dr. Marian Diamond’s office are a sharp contrast to the spare concrete corridors of the Valley Life Sciences Building at the University of California at Berkeley. And Dr. Diamond herself, an elegant woman with silver hair and a warm smile, is a pleasant contrast to the competitive and…

A Conversation With Bruce McEwen

In the life cycle of an academic research scientist, developmental maturation usually consists of achieving a secure tenured position, establishing a productive lab, and becoming a respected member of the scientific community. Once this is achieved, most academic researchers busy themselves with worrying about their next grant application or find themselves drawn into the inevitable…