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Stefan Klein (born October 5, 1965) is a physicist, author and essayist [1] who has specialized in writing on science and its social implications in an accessible manner. [2] He is best known for his books The Science of Happiness and Time: A User's Guide. [3] His works have been translated into 25 languages and became best sellers in many countries.[4]

Life and work[edit | edit source]

Klein was born in Munich, Germany. Both his parents were chemists and had immigrated from Austria; their ancestors had been scientists for three generations.[2] Klein studied physics and analytical philosophy at the University of Munich and Grenoble and graduated in theoretical biophysics at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He left his academic career to become science editor at Der Spiegel, a newsmagazine, in 1996, and made quickly made a name for himself through a series of ten highly regarded cover stories. [5] He was awarded the Georg von Holtzbrinck Preis, a prestigious German prize for science writing in 1998. [6] After a stint at Geo, a popular scientific magazine, he has worked as a freelance author since 2000. [1]

His 2002 book The Science of Happiness is a synthesis of findings from neuroscience, social psychology and philosophy on how positive emotions can arise in the human brain. Klein explains Happiness as an automatic signal the brain uses to mark situations promising a benefit for the organism. As it is triggered when a given situation appears better relative to a previous state, no external conditions whatever can account for lasting happiness. However, Klein believes subjective well-being can be raised by training the awareness for positive emotions when they are generated in the brain. .[7] Alison Abbott from Nature Magazine called The Science of Happines 'an extremely well-written, easy-to-read and expertly researched book on a theme which has long been begging for pop-science treatment'. [1] It was on the German bestseller list for more than a year.

In The Secret Pulse of Time (2006), Klein explored the human capacity to perceive time. It describes most people's constant difficulties in dealing efficiently with time as a consequence of the brain's organisation: Awareness for time and the ability to follow one's plans are functions of highly evolved and vulnerable cognitive mechanisms. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German national newspaper, characterized this book as 'a protest against the deeply unfair fact that memorable time flies by whereas unbearable time stumbles'.[8] Library Journal elected its English translation as one of the best science books in 2007 .[9]

Klein has advocated for novel ways to communicate science. In his view, science should rather be told as stories rather than by teaching facts. [10] He also opposed the unique use of English as a language of science and argued that it would be better to teach science in national languages. [11]

His essays were published by leading German newspapers and by various English-language media such as the New York Times [12] and Nature.[13]

Klein lives in Berlin. He is married and has two daughters.[1]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

English[edit | edit source]

German[edit | edit source]

Other Languages[edit | edit source]

Translations are listed at Stefan Klein's Website

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Stefan Kleins's Website
  2. 2.0 2.1 Daton Leigh. Stefan Klein, science writer. The Australian.
  3. includeonly>Stephen Cave. "Time in our hands", The Financial Times, 23 May 2008.
  4. List of translations on author's homepage
  5. Klein's 2000 Book "Die Tagebücher der Schöpfung" is a collection of these stories
  6. Georg von Holtzbrinck Awards in Science Journalism.
  7. Jean Chatzky. Shopping for happiness?.
  8. Andreas Rosenfelder. Die Zeitsparkasse gleicht der Rentenkasse. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
  9. Greg Sapp. Best Sci-Tech Books 2007. Library Journal.
  10. Science and Fiction. Magazine on European Research No. 50.
  11. Stefan Klein. Dumber in English. Sign and Sight.
  12. Stefan Klein. Time out of Mind. New York Times.
  13. Stefan Klein (27 March 2008). View form the Top. Nature 452: 411–412.

External links[edit | edit source]

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