SFI Miller Scholar Laurence Gonzales has won the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award and the Montaigne Medal for his bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why (W.W. Norton, 2003). One of the largest international awards for independent books published by small or academic presses, the Eric Hoffer Book Award is given in honor of the American philosopher Eric Hoffer, who reflected on the human condition. The Montaigne Medal is a special distinction under the Eric Hoffer award umbrella that recognizes "the most thought-provoking books... that either illuminate, progress, or redirect thought." 

At the time of publication, Gonzales' Deep Survival was the first scientific book about human survival in life-or-death situations.

Gonzales is a professional author rooted in what he calls "a compulsion to write." During his Miller Scholarship at SFI he has been working on a book that captures the experience of a visiting scholar encountering the network of people and ideas that make SFI an international hub for complexity science.

In May, 2019, Gonzales won an additional Eric Hoffer Award – this time in the Legacy Nonfiction category for Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival – a book the Washington Post called "absolutely riveting."

Read the 2018 announcement in the US Review of Books

Update May 15, 2019