Virtual Event: Perry Zurn and Dani S. Bassett
The Power of Connection
in conversation with KRISTY JOHNSON
September 16, 2022
12:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store welcomes PERRY ZURN and DANI BASSETT—identical twins and professors of philosophy and engineering, respectively—for a discussion of their co-authored book Curious Minds: The Power of Connection. They will be joined in conversation by physicist, neuroscientist, and engineer KRISTY JOHNSON.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Curious Minds on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Curious Minds
Curious about something? Google it. Look at it. Ask a question. But is curiosity simply information seeking? According to this exhilarating, genre-bending book, what’s left out of the conventional understanding of curiosity are the wandering tracks, the weaving concepts, the knitting of ideas, and the thatching of knowledge systems—the networks, the relations between ideas and between people. Curiosity, say Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett, is a practice of connection: it connects ideas into networks of knowledge, and it connects knowers themselves, both to the knowledge they seek and to each other.
Zurn and Bassett—identical twins who write that their book “represents the thought of one mind and two bodies”—harness their respective expertise in the humanities and the sciences to get irrepressibly curious about curiosity. Traipsing across literatures of antiquity and medieval science, Victorian poetry and nature essays, as well as work by writers from a variety of marginalized communities, they trace a multitudinous curiosity. They identify three styles of curiosity—the busybody, who collects stories, creating loose knowledge networks; the hunter, who hunts down secrets or discoveries, creating tight networks; and the dancer, who takes leaps of creative imagination, creating loopy ones. Investigating what happens in a curious brain, they offer an accessible account of the network neuroscience of curiosity. And they sketch out a new kind of curiosity-centric and inclusive education that embraces everyone’s curiosity. The book performs the very curiosity that it describes, inviting readers to participate—to be curious with the book and not simply about it.
Praise for Curious Minds
"Zurn and Bassett changed my mind about what curiosity is at its essence. I am now convinced that curiosity is more than wanting to know—it is wanting to connect. This bold new theory for curiosity has enormous implications for building a more curious, creative, and equitable society." —Angela Duckworth, Founder and CEO, Character Lab, Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor, University of Pennsylvania
"Curious Minds not only opens up a stunning new landscape for the study of innovation and creativity, but also provides fresh, practical insights into the kernel of inquisitiveness in each of us." —Scott Barry Kaufman, host of The Psychology Podcast and author of Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization
"A brilliantly original exploration of curiosity. Reading this ambitious and joyful book is a marvelous experience in expanding the mind and the heart—in connecting all the dots to envision a better world." —Barbara M. Benedict, Charles A. Dana Professor of English, Trinity College, author of Curiosity: A Cultural History of Early-Modern Inquiry
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