Safi Bahcall

presents

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jul
23
Tuesday
July 23, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed physicist and biotech engineer SAFI BAHCALL for a discussion of his debut book, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.

About Loonshots

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?

In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.

Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere.

Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

Praise for Loonshots

“A wonderful book that explores the beauty, quirkiness and complexity of ideas, Loonshots will both educate and entertain you. If you care about ideas―especially new and out-of-the-box ones―you need to read this book.” ―Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

"Who knew that one idea could connect naval battles, chirping crickets, and the birth of modern science? If The Da Vinci Code and Freakonomics had a child together, it would be called Loonshots. This book is a must read for anyone in business, education, or public service." ―Senator Bob Kerrey, Medal of Honor recipient, former Navy SEAL and president of The New School

“With riveting stories set in the most unexpected times and places, Loonshots shows how group dynamics and workplace politics conspire against the psychological safety people need in order to boldly share their wildest ideas. Bahcall's fresh ideas and practical solutions―an unusual combination of psychology and physics―should change the way any person or team sets out to change the world.” ―Amy C. Edmondson, author of The Fearless Organization and professor at Harvard Business School 

Safi Bahcall
Safi Bahcall

Safi Bahcall

Safi Bahcall is a second-generation physicist and a biotech entrepreneur. He has been profiled by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker and has written for the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and The Scientist. He received his BA summa cum laude from Harvard and his PhD from Stanford. After working for three years as a consultant for McKinsey, he co-founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led its IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2008, he was named E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, he worked with President Obama’s council of science advisors, PCAST, on the future of national research. He lives with his wife and two children in Cambridge, MA.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

Our Summer Warehouse Sale

Featuring thousands of books at deep discounts, over TWO WEEKENDS: June 22-23 & June 29-30 (10am to 8pm)!

Learn More »

Signed by the Author

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »

Shipping & Delivery

Shipping rates
and options, locally
and throughout
the U.S.

Learn More »