CBR book reviews – A Life in Physics


  • The Brain That Changes Itself  By Dr Norman Doidge
  • The Most Human Human  By Brian Christian
  •  Life in Physics  By Lise Meitner
  • Language as a Window into Human Nature: The Stuff of Thought By Steven Pinker
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot
  • Fixing My Gaze  By Professor Susan Barry
  • The Human Brain: A Guided Tour  By Professor Susan Greenfield
  • I’m not stupid, just disabled: some serious chitchat about life after a stroke  By Wolfgang Haufe
  • The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul By Dr Francis Crick 
  • Pieces of Mind: 21 Short Walks Around the Human Brain By Michael C. Corballis


A Life in Physics
By Lise Meitner
Reviewed by:  Dr Cathy Stinear, Neuroscientist

This biography tells the fascinating story of one of the most important physicists of modern times – Lise Meitner. Never heard of her? That’s not surprising, given that she was female and Jewish, working in Europe in the early 20th century. 

Yet her discoveries rivaled those of her more-familiar contemporaries – Rutherford, Einstein, Planck, Bohr, Geiger and Heisenberg. The biographer has meticulously researched the life and times of Lise Meitner, to provide an informative and compelling account of the birth of nuclear physics.

This is the story of a brilliant scientist who remained devoted to her field, despite the enormous social and political obstacles she faced. It reminds us that science and scientists are embedded in a cultural context, which shapes their direction and discoveries.