Mario Livio

presents

Why?:
What Makes Us Curious 

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jul
24
Monday
July 24, 2017
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes astrophysicist MARIO LIVIO—the bestselling author of The Golden RatioIs God a Mathematician?, Brilliant Blunders,  and The Accelerating Universe—for a discussion of his latest book, Why?: What Makes Us Curious.

About Why?

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.

Praise

"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 at Cornell University and author of The Joy of X

"A colorful, engaging and yet thorough examination of curiosity in its many forms, Why? illustrates how having an inquisitive mind is crucial to creative output in the arts, sciences and business and explains WHY you should encourage curiosity in yourself and your children. Both a fascinating and fun read!" —Gail Saltz, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, The New York Presbyterian Hospital ; host of "The Power of Different" podcast; author of The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius

"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

Mario Livio
Mario Livio

Mario Livio

Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist and bestselling author who has appeared on The Daily Show, 60 Minutes, and NOVA. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Besides Why? What Makes Us Curious, he is the author of The Golden Ratio, winner of the International Pythagoras Prize and the Peano Prize; The Equation That Couldn’t Be SolvedIs God a Mathematician? (which was the basis for the 2016 Emmy-nominated NOVA program “The Great Math Mystery”); the national bestseller Brilliant Blunders; and The Accelerating Universe. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo credit: J. Coyle Jr

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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