Drive and Curiosity

Author: Istvan Hargittai
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616144696
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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What motivates those few scientists who rise above their peers to achieve breakthrough discoveries? This book examines the careers of fifteen eminent scientists who achieved some of the most notable discoveries of the past century, providing an insider’s perspective on the history of twentieth century science based on these engaging personality profiles. They include: • Dan Shechtman, the 2011 Nobel laureate and discoverer of quasicrystals; • James D. Watson, the Nobel laureate and codiscoverer of the double helix structure of DNA; • Linus Pauling, the Nobel laureate remembered most for his work on the structure of proteins; • Edward Teller, a giant of the 20th century who accomplished breakthroughs in understanding of nuclear fusion; • George Gamow, a pioneering scientist who devised the initially ridiculed and now accepted Big Bang. In each case, the author has uncovered a singular personality characteristic, motivational factor, or circumstance that, in addition to their extraordinary drive and curiosity, led these scientists to make outstanding contributions. For example, Gertrude B. Elion, who discovered drugs that saved millions of lives, was motivated to find new medications after the deaths of her grandfather and later her fiancé. F. Sherwood Rowland, who stumbled upon the environmental harm caused by chlorofluorocarbons, eventually felt a moral imperative to become an environmental activist. Rosalyn Yalow, the codiscoverer of the radioimmunoassay always felt she had to prove herself in the face of prejudice against her as a woman. These and many more fascinating revelations make this a must-read for everyone who wants to know what traits and circumstances contribute to a person’s becoming the scientist who makes the big breakthrough. From the Hardcover edition.

Why

Author: Mario Livio
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476792127
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio investigates perhaps the most human of all our characteristics—curiosity—in this “lively, expert, and definitely not dumbed-down account” (Kirkus Reviews) 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? “Have you ever wondered why we wonder why? Mario Livio has, and he takes you on a fascinating quest to understand the origin and mechanisms of our curiosity. I thoroughly recommend it.” (Adam Riess, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, 2011). Curiosity is not only at the heart of mystery and suspense novels, it is also essential to other creative endeavors, 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. In the ever-fascinating Why? 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? An astrophysicist who has written about mathematics, biology, and now psychology and neuroscience, Livio has firsthand knowledge of his subject which he explores in a lucid, entertaining way that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity.

Curious

Author: Ian Leslie
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465079962
Format: PDF, ePub
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“I have no special talents,” said Albert Einstein. “I am only passionately curious.” Everyone is born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. So why are many of us allowing our curiosity to wane? In Curious, Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our “desire to know.” Just when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood, undervalued, and increasingly monopolized by a cognitive elite. A “curiosity divide” is opening up. This divide is being exacerbated by the way we use the Internet. Thanks to smartphones and tools such as Google and Wikipedia, we can answer almost any question instantly. But does this easy access to information guarantee the growth of curiosity? No—quite the opposite. Leslie argues that true curiosity the sustained quest for understanding that begets insight and innovation—is in fact at risk in a wired world. Drawing on fascinating research from psychology, economics, education, and business, Curious looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and finds surprising answers. Curiosity isn’t, as we’re encouraged to think, a gift that keeps on giving. It is a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise and a habit that parents, schools, and workplaces need to nurture. Filled with inspiring stories, case studies, and practical advice, Curious will change the way you think about your own mental habits, and those of your family, friends, and colleagues.

Women and Curiosity in Early Modern England and France

Author: Line Cottegnies
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 900431184X
Format: PDF
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In Women and Curiosity in Early Modern England and France, the rehabilitation of female curiosity between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries is thoroughly investigated for the first time, in a comparative perspective that confronts two epistemological and religious traditions.

Curiosity

Author: Philip Ball
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022604582X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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With the recent landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, it seems safe to assume that the idea of being curious is alive and well in modern science—that it’s not merely encouraged but is seen as an essential component of the scientific mission. Yet there was a time when curiosity was condemned. Neither Pandora nor Eve could resist the dangerous allure of unanswered questions, and all knowledge wasn’t equal—for millennia it was believed that there were some things we should not try to know. In the late sixteenth century this attitude began to change dramatically, and in Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Philip Ball investigates how curiosity first became sanctioned—when it changed from a vice to a virtue and how it became permissible to ask any and every question about the world. Looking closely at the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Ball vividly brings to life the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. In this entertaining and illuminating account of the rise of science as we know it, Ball tells of scientists both legendary and lesser known, from Copernicus and Kepler to Robert Boyle, as well as the inventions and technologies that were inspired by curiosity itself, such as the telescope and the microscope. The so-called Scientific Revolution is often told as a story of great geniuses illuminating the world with flashes of inspiration. But Curiosity reveals a more complex story, in which the liberation—and subsequent taming—of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade, and empire. Ball also asks what has become of curiosity today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged for consumption, how well it is being sustained, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may continue to ask. Though proverbial wisdom tell us that it was through curiosity that our innocence was lost, that has not deterred us. Instead, it has been completely the contrary: today we spend vast sums trying to reconstruct the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of a pure desire to know. Ball refuses to let us take this desire for granted, and this book is a perfect homage to such an inquisitive attitude.

Curiosity and Information Seeking in Animal and Human Behavior

Author: Wojciech Pisula
Publisher: Universal-Publishers
ISBN: 1599424983
Format: PDF, ePub
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The purpose of the book is to deliver a critical review of the literature and author's research data relevant for understanding the phenomena of curiosity, information seeking behavior, and novelty seeking. The book is designed to be a comprehensive and systematic lecture of areas related to the main subject in a way that will enable the reader to grasp the notion of development in terms of the evolutionary time scale and ontogenesis. Each of the subjects is explained on the basis of three perspectives: ultimate factors, integrative levels, and aroximate mechanisms. This work is intended to integrate approaches adopted within psychology, ethology, and behavioral neuroscience.

Cultivating Curiosity in K 12 Classrooms

Author: Wendy L. Ostroff
Publisher: ASCD
ISBN: 1416622004
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Curiosity comes from within—we just have to know how to unleash it. We learn by engaging and exploring, asking questions and testing out answers. Yet our classrooms are not always places where such curiosity is encouraged and supported. Cultivating Curiosity in K–12 Classrooms describes how teachers can create a structured, student-centered environment that allows for openness and surprise, where inquiry guides authentic learning. Award-winning educator Wendy L. Ostroff shows how to foster student curiosity through exploration, novelty, and play; questioning and critical thinking; and experimenting and problem solving. With techniques to try, scaffolding advice, and relevant research from neuroscience and psychology, this book will help teachers harness the powerful drive in all learners—the drive to know, understand, and experience the world in a meaningful way.

The Design and Engineering of Curiosity

Author: Emily Lakdawalla
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331968146X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book describes the most complex machine ever sent to another planet: Curiosity. It is a one-ton robot with two brains, seventeen cameras, six wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head. No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work. This essential reference to the Curiosity mission explains the engineering behind every system on the rover, from its rocket-powered jetpack to its radioisotope thermoelectric generator to its fiendishly complex sample handling system. Its lavishly illustrated text explains how all the instruments work -- its cameras, spectrometers, sample-cooking oven, and weather station -- and describes the instruments' abilities and limitations. It tells you how the systems have functioned on Mars, and how scientists and engineers have worked around problems developed on a faraway planet: holey wheels and broken focus lasers. And it explains the grueling mission operations schedule that keeps the rover working day in and day out.

Curiosity and Exploration

Author: Hans-Georg Voss
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 148326307X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Curiosity and Exploration: Theories and Results provides a systematic review of research on curiosity and exploration and is intended to present theories, methods, and research findings and to compare these with other fields of psychology. The text discusses topics on various aspects of curiosity and exploration such as the historical development of curiosity research; theoretical approaches to fully explain the phenomena of curiosity and exploration; developmental perspective in the study of curiosity and exploration; and the author's summary and evaluation at the end of the book. Psychologists will find the book to be very interesting.