Callahan explores the science of self, illustrating the immune
system’s role in forming individual identity. Blending the
scientific essay with deeply personal narratives, these poignant and
enlightening stories use microbiology and immunology to explore a new
way to answer the question, who am I?
“Self” has many definitions. Science has
90 percent of the cells in our bodies are bacteria—we are in
respects more non-self than self. In Lousy
Callahan considers this microbio-neuro perspective on human identity
together with the soulful, social perception of self, drawing on both
art and science to fully illuminate this relationship.
where we came from and who we are, Callahan uses autobiographical
episodes to illustrate his scientific points.
stories about the
sex lives of wood lice, the biological advantages of eating dirt, the
question of immortality, the relationship between syphilis and the
musical genius of Beethoven, and more, this book creates another way, a
chimeric way, of seeing ourselves. The general reader with an interest
in science will find Lousy
by Gerald N. Callahan
University Press of Colorado, 2013
and discuss this title with the Outrider Reading