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Why?: What Makes Us Curious Hardcover – July 11, 2017

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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“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

"An energetic look at the psychology and neuroscience of our inquisitiveness." -- Dan Jones, Nature

“Filled with fascinating stories, tidbits, and psychological insights, Why? is a delightful romp through every aspect of human curiosity.  It will surprise you, make you smarter, and put a spring in your step.” -- Steven Strogatz, Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, and author of The Joy of X

"A lively, expert, and definitely not dumbed-down account of why we're curious.", Kirkus Reviews

“It’s impossible to imagine creativity or invention without curiosity, and one could hardly ask for a richer or more engaging exploration of human curiosity than the one provided by Mario Livio in Why?. This book is an intellectual feast for any curious person." -- Jeffrey M. Schwartz MD, Research Psychiatrist UCLA, author of (with Sharon Begley) The Mind and the Brain and (with Rebecca Gladding) You are Not Your Brain

“Whether in science or art, curiosity is essential to progress—but what is it, exactly? Mixing historical narratives with interviews, and throwing in a dash of neuroscience, Mario Livio explores whether we are inquisitive because curiosity feels good in itself or because finding out something new removes an irritation. It can be both, he concludes, and different types of curiosity serve different purposes. Livio's book doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but it might well spur your own curiosity.

  -- David Lindley, author of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science, and Where Does the Weirdness Go: Why Quantum is Strange but Not as Strange as you Think

"This cogent book presents the scientific research on curiosity in understandable ways without too much jargon. It answers many (although not all) of our potential questions about curiosity—including what many originally believed killed the cat." -- Joseph Peschel, Science

"Lively. . . . Provocative.", USA Today

“In Why?, astrophysicist Mario Livio argues that humans are the only species to ask not just what, where or who, but also why. . . . [He} includes some fascinating tidbits along the way."  -- Katherine Harmon Courage, The Washington Post

"Explores curiosity from a wide variety of angles and shows the author to be astute and 'curious about curiosity.' The book is well worth reading simply for the breadth of information about the subject, but also provides tips and cues readers may use to increase their own level of curiosity.”

  -- Christopher M. Doran, New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist, a bestselling author, and a popular speaker who has appeared on The Daily Show60 Minutes, and NOVA. He is the author of the bestsellers The Golden Ratio, Brilliant Blunders, and Galileo. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
25 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2017
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Richard Betts
4.0 out of 5 stars Why?: Makes you curious about curiosity !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2017
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1.0 out of 5 stars Pages missing
Reviewed in India on November 12, 2018
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Aurelio D'Inverno
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. But...
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