Why?: What Makes Us Curious

Livio, Mario, 1945- author.
Simon & Schuster
Physical description: 
xiii, 252 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Publishing date: 
July 11, 2017
Book Description: 

"This is a fascinating examination of perhaps our most human characteristic, our innate curiosity, our deep desire to know why. Why are we more distracted by a cell-phone conversation, where we can hear only one side of the dialogue, than by an overheard argument between two people? Are children more curious than adults? What is the source of the morbid curiosity that causes bystanders to gather at crime scenes or traffic accidents? What evolutionary purpose does curiosity serve? How does our mind choose what to be curious about? Why? explores these and many other intriguing questions. Curiosity is essential to creativity. It is a necessary ingredient in so many art forms, from mystery novels and film dramas to painting, sculpture, and music. It is the principal driver of science, and yet there is no scientific consensus on why we humans are so curious or about the precise mechanisms in our brain that are responsible for curiosity. Mario Livio investigates curiosity through the lives of such paragons of inquisitiveness as Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He interviewed a range of exceptionally curious people from an astronaut with degrees in statistics, medicine, and literature to a rock guitarist with a PhD in astrophysics. Because of Livio's own insatiable curiosity, Why? is an irresistible and entertaining book that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity."--Jacket.

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