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How Does Curiosity Impact the Sciences?

Published February 14, 2020

The Enigma of Life: Confronting Marvels at the Edges of Science


Three experts explore the ways our curiosity and sense of awe shape the ways we do science.
Speakers from left to right: Steve Paulson (Wisconsin Public Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge), Marcelo Gleiser, PhD (Dartmouth College), Tania Lombrozo (Princeton University), and Gavin Francis, MD (Author, Shapeshifters: A Journey Through the Changing Human Body)

We see it all the time in children of a certain age⁠—endlessly asking why. Why is the sky blue? Why do birds sing? Why do we need sleep? The curiosity behind those questions is similar to the curiosity that drives many scientists to pursue their careers. But often, when applied to practical concerns or specific phenomena, the question shifts instead to how things happen.

In this video from the third and final event in our series, "The Power of Wonder: Modern Marvels in the Age of Science," physicist Marcelo Gleiser, experimental psychologist Tania Lombrozo, and physician Gavin Francis delve into the many ways that our experiences of curiosity and awe impact the field of science. The discussion was moderated by Steve Paulson.

And be sure to check out our upcoming screening of the film, Human Nature, which explore the ways in which CRISPR could change our relationship with nature.