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UnDisciplined: The 2000-year-old modern scholar

Plutarch of Chaeronea was a prolific biographer of ancient Greeks and Romans and the author of scores of letters about how to live a virtuous life. Or at least how to live a virtuous life 2000 years ago. But Plutarch's work continues to find relevance today on pretty much every issue under the sun and whether you're a gourmet chef or a military general, or a circus performer, he probably has something to say to you.

Frances Titchener is the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Plutarch, which will be available next month.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>