This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
In addition to being one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates is a great reader. For years I have made recommendations around the books that for some reason have captivated you. He firmly believes in the power of reading and on several occasions has stated that it has been a key to his success. It is well known that the founder of Microsoft does not abandon books even if he is not enjoying them, because he believes that no matter how bad a book may be, it will always leave you with something positive.
Gates (who writes as well as reads) regularly posts reviews of what he has recently read on his Gates Notes blog. Here we share their three most recent recommendations.
1. THE CODE BREAKER BY WALTER ISAACSON
In 2020, the American biochemist Jennifer Doudna received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of a method for gene editing” together with the French Emmanuelle Charpentier. Known as CRISPR (for its acronym in English ( Clustered Regulatory, Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeat ) the method allows to modify the genomes of plants, animals and even human beings and has enormous potential to cure diseases, but also moral implications. The discovery of CRISPR is considered by many to be the most important of the last century.
In this book Walter Isaacson tells the story of Doudna and her dream of being a scientist despite the fact that at some point a school teacher warned her that there was no place for girls in the world of science. But more than a biography, it is the story of the development of CRISPR and the importance it has in a world that, as we already know, can be hit by an unknown virus.
What does Bill Gates say about The Code Breakers?
“The Code Breakers is very accessible to non-scientists. And that’s very important, because the ethics of using CRISPR is unclear. Doudna now spends much of her time focused on moral and ethical questions, especially the potential gene editing has to exacerbate inequality. As he tells Isaacson: ‘If you think we face inequalities now, imagine what it would be like if society were genetically divided into economic levels and we transcribed our financial inequality into our genetic code.’”
2. KLARA AND THE SUN (KLARA Y EL SOL), KAZU ISHIGURO
The most recent work of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro, tells the story of Klara an Artificial Friend (AA) who arrives at the home of Josie, a young woman who has a strange disease. Trying to fulfill the mission for which Klara was programmed, she will do everything in her power to accompany her owner and make her days more bearable, convinced that it is the sun with its light that can help her heal. A novel with a children’s story structure, but with a depth worthy of Ishiguro.
What does Bill Gates say about Klara and the Sun ?
“While reading the book, I couldn’t help but wonder which parts paint a picture of our near future and which parts are pure fiction. I believe that one day we will have utility and companion robots in our lives. Klara is primarily a companion. It doesn’t do much of what you’d expect from a utility robot, like bring you things or prepare food for you. Her purpose is almost entirely social, and while I don’t know if we’ll ever have emotionally sophisticated robots like her, we may see some pretty good companion robots emerge over the next decade.”
3. PROJECT HAIL MARY (HAIL MARY PROJECT). ANDY WEIR
An astronaut Ryland Grace awakens from a long period of sleep aboard a spaceship. His two mission companions have died and his memories are hazy. Little by little, Grace will decipher the mystery of her memories and discover that they are on an important mission thousands of kilometers from Earth and that the survival of the human species depends on its success. A science fiction novel by the same author who gave us The Martian.
What does Bill Gates say about Project Hail Mary ?
“I found parts of the story, like how Ryland is chosen and how powerful the United Nations task force is that organizes the mission, to be unbelievable. However, they didn’t bother me. Science fiction has a lot of freedom to evoke things. It’s hard to be too distracted by something implausible when you’re reading a story about a giant space spider.
I recommend the book to anyone in the mood for something entertaining. I started it on a Saturday and finished it on a Sunday, and it was a great way to spend a weekend. Even if you’re not a big fan of science fiction, Project Hail Mary is an excellent story about two friends who use science and engineering to save the day.”