Why?: What Makes Us Curious by Mario Livio

Into the Wild

Read Why?: What Makes Us Curious Online Free - Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio investigates perhaps the most human of all our characteristics—curiosity—as he explores our innate desire to know why.

Experiments demonstrate that people are more distracted when they overhear a phone conversation—where they can know only one side of the dialogue—than when they overhear two people talking and know both sides. Why does half a conversation make us more curious than a whole conversation?

In the ever-fascinating Why? Mario Livio interviewed scientists in several fields to explore the nature of curiosity. He examined the lives of two of history’s most curious geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He also talked to people with boundless curiosity: a superstar rock guitarist who is also an astrophysicist; an astronaut with degrees in computer science, biology, literature, and medicine. What drives these people to be curious about so many subjects?

Curiosity is at the heart of mystery and suspense novels. It is essential to other forms of art, from painting to sculpture to music. It is the principal driver of basic scientific research. Even so, there is still no definitive scientific consensus about why we humans are so curious, or about the mechanisms in our brain that are responsible for curiosity.

Mario Livio—an astrophysicist who has written about mathematics, biology, and now psychology and neuroscience—explores this irresistible subject in a lucid, entertaining way that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity.

Title : Why?: What Makes Us Curious
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1476792097
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 pages


Kathleen rated it ★★★☆☆

April 17, 2017

My 3-star rating of this book includes a caveat that if I had a stronger background in science, it could very well be a 4 or 5 star book. Author Mario Luvio is an internationally known astrophysicist, which did not intimidate me but perhaps it should have a little bit. (I blame you, Neil Degrasse...

Claudia rated it ★★★★★

April 01, 2017

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each d...

L.P. rated it ★☆☆☆☆

April 24, 2017

What a load of horse crap. This book is a spew of words attempting to explain why we are individually creative, but instead of doing that it focuses on Leonardo Divinci -- who was awesome, don't get me wrong -- whoso happens to be someone that each one of us will never be. Then it throws in a who...

Jeremy rated it ★★★★☆

April 08, 2017

Note: I received this book as an advanced reading copy from NetGalley. I really enjoyed the book. The author is great at explaining research without it being too dry, and I love that he is a physicist, which means I can relate to a lot of things he says. Overall, the book was well written and flow...

Melody rated it ★★★★☆

September 26, 2017

An interesting book on the why, how's and who's of curiosity. Details many famous scientists, and asks them why they wanted to learn what they learned, what drove them. Also explores the psychology and neuroscience of curiosity. To me this was the most interesting parts and something I was curiou...

Darnell rated it ★★★☆☆

August 25, 2017

Though this book feels padded out, there's a solid core of research in there.

Eric rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 21, 2017

I think Livio tried to turn a decent article into a full-length book on this one. The effort comes across as a bit more than self-indulgent and self-congratulatory. No, scientists are not the only people who are curious (despite a tone which eagerly leans that way). No, artists and poets don't al...

Ali rated it ★★★☆☆

July 24, 2017

This book may provide insights of how curiosity control some people, what justifies such behavior and some sort of examples illustrate curiosity through history. Does curiosity satisfy internal needs of some people? What kind of curiosity do people go through? Is there an end to being curious?

Melissa rated it ★★★★★

May 24, 2017

This book was a page-turner! The author included quality research along with fascinating information about what we 'think' we understand about curiosity and, more importantly, the big questions that remain unanswered in this topic. He retained an unbiased perspective as he delivered the expansive...

Peter rated it ★★★★★

September 01, 2017

“Why? What makes us curious,” by Mario Livio (Simon and Schuster, 2017). A fascinating, informative, and except for a couple of chapters that are a bit technical (which Livio warns the reader about), very clearly written discussion of curiosity. What is it? Where did it come from? What effect doe...

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