In Search of Memory, is a wonderful book by Dr. Eric Kendal, which contains major threads of discovery and growth that interweave throughout this fascinating book making it a very personal and intense scientific journey into the heart and history of understanding how we know and remember at the most fundamental biochemical and molecular levels.
This is as close as I've ever seen for either a literary or scientific inquiry to reach that ineffable position of characterizing our thoughts as purely physical phenomena. This may come as a philosophical jolt to some readers and they should be prepared for it. Not everyone may want to know the physical reason that they think or remember, but certainly those who have wondered about this mystery would want to read a book like this one. All of us aren't ready to face these dramatic scientific findings of the next century and many of us may not know how to accept these discoveries, but this book prepares us to appreciate the history and scientific rationale behind their discovery.
There are certain qualities of a true scientist that come shining through Eric Kendal's book and make the reader thankful for his openness. These qualities include an unabashed curiosity about the world with no question left off limits and a deep humility to accept the answers given us. This shows a complete freedom of inquiry and an ability to face the answers as they are presented through the slow process of continuous scientific inquiry, experiment and theory. That these threads come together as an engaging story make this book all the more remarkable and enjoyable to read.
Allowing oneself a free inquiry into the biophysical realms of memory is the cumulation of a lifetime spent wrestling with such interesting questions. A remarkable aspect of his personal journey is the increasingly sophisticated ability he has to initiate and propose the next questions that propel him along his scientific transformation. This is interwoven within the book with all the personal trials and tribulations of a growing young man, whose journey culminates with one of the highest accolades in science (i.e. The Nobel Prize). Therefore, it comes as a bit of a surprise that we are allowed to peek into the very private thoughts of Dr. Kendal and see how he is in many ways just like the rest of us. This is where his refreshing innocence toward all of the various difficulties and dangers in his life make us envious and hopeful that our own luck may be as good as his.
Someday in the not too distant future, it seems that we will know how our memories are formed and of what molecules they are made. This may signal a revolution in human thought that will propel us into the incredibly complex and rapid paced era of the next scientific era. Many will be left far behind, but those who read this book may at least appreciate the enormous scientific and personal efforts behind these wonderful discoveries. For those who want the experience of getting as close as possible to the scientific thoughts and emotional reactions to cutting edge science, this is the book for you. I highly recommend it!