How Science Became Interested in Everything
A tour through the history of human curiosity, from its original condemnation as sin, blossoming through the lives of Galileo and Newton, to its current role central to modern society.
There was a time when curiosity was condemned. Through curiosity, our innocence was said to be lost. Yet this hasn't deterred us. Today we spend vast sums trying to recreate the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of pure desire to know. There seems now to be no question too vast or too trivial. No longer reviled, curiosity is now celebrated.
By examining the rise of curiosity from the dawn of modern science to today, we can examine how it functions in science, how it is spun, packaged and sold, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may ask.
Praise for Curiosity
Philip Ball, like Levi, displays a polymath’s enthusiasm for knowledge of all kinds, and writes of science with humility and intelligent generosity.Ian Thomson, Telegraph
Ball's fascinating book revels not just in the experiments of these early scientists, but also in their humanity, foibles and passionsIan Critchley, Sunday Times
A wonderfully nuanced and wise study of the scientific revolutionGuardian
Philip Ball’s scintillating history of curiosity brims with treatsNature Magazine
Cogent and intellectual… Ball has produced a great read, and there are few finer books on curiosity and mankind’s virtuous viceGood Book Guide