Episode 80 – What Makes Us Curious?
What were the qualities that pushed mankind forward throughout history? Deduction was an important element in our ability to understand the world around us. Innovation certainly aided us in our pursuit the master the forces of nature. But perhaps one characteristic above all others has driven our species forward: Curiosity.
Curiosity is almost an instinct, an impulse to find an answer to question. The itch to find new questions to which we ought to seek answers. And the ability to doubt and question everything around us – these abilities led us to be the dominant species on earth and known universe, light years above any other form of life.
But a very reflexive question comes to mind when we speak of curiosity, and that is – what is it that makes us curious? It seems we are so eager to find answers to questions, that we never quite stopped to think about why we’re asking the questions.
Dr. Mario Livio is a world renowned scientist and the author of six internationally acclaimed popular science books. He was a professor of physics at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and worked with the Hubble Space Telescope from 1991 to 2015. His bestselling book The Golden Ratio – the Story of Phi won the Peano Prize and the International Pythagoras prize for popular books on Mathematics. Dr. Livio’s new book, titled “Why? What makes Us Curious”, depicts his journey to understand the roots of curiosity.
It’s a great privilege to have Dr. Mario Livio with us today to discuss this curious topic.