What Do You Care What Other People Think?

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What Do You Care What Other People Think?
What do you care what other people think.jpg
First edition
AuthorRalph Leighton
CountryUnited States
SubjectAutobiography and biography of Richard Feynman
PublisherW. W. Norton (US)
Publication date
October 1988 (US)
Media typePrint (Hardcover & paperback) also audio book
Pages256 pp (US hardcover edition) & 256 pp (US paperback edition)
ISBN0-393-02659-0 (1988 hardcover edition), ISBN 0-393-32092-8 (2001 paperback edition)
530/.092 B 20
LC ClassQC16.F49 A3 1988
Preceded bySurely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! 

"What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character (1988) is a biographical book written by Ralph Leighton with the authorization of Richard Feynman. The book is the second of two collaborative books consisting of transcribed and edited oral reminiscences from Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman. It follows the same format established in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, published in 1985.


The book was prepared as Feynman struggled with liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer from which he died. The book is the last of his autobiographical works.

The first section presents a series of humorous stories from different periods of his life, while the second chronicles his involvement on the Rogers Commission investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In one chapter, he describes an impromptu experiment in which he showed how the O-rings in the shuttle's rocket boosters could have failed due to cold temperatures on the morning of the launch. Later, this failure was determined to be the primary cause of the shuttle's destruction. This section of the book was dramatized in a television movie by BBC/Science Channel titled The Challenger Disaster.

The book is much more loosely organized than the earlier Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! It contains short stories, letters, photographs, and a few of the sketches that Feynman created in later life when he had learned to draw from an artist friend, Jirayr Zorthian.

Of note is the story of his first wife, Arline, who had been diagnosed with tuberculosis before their marriage. The title of the book is taken from a question she often put to him when he seemed preoccupied with the opinions of his colleagues about his work, thereby echoing his own earlier words to her. She died while Feynman was working on the Manhattan Project.

The book concludes with a section titled "The Value of Science", an address Feynman gave at the 1955 autumn meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.


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