Why: What Makes Us Curious, with Mario Livio

June 11, 2018


June 11, 2018


Roth Auditorium, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

UC San Diego

Free and open to the public; RSVP here


The ability to ask “why?” makes us uniquely human. Curiosity drives basic scientific research, is the engine behind creativity in all disciplines from technology to the arts, is a necessary ingredient in education, and a facilitating tool in every form of storytelling (literature, film, TV, or even a simple conversation) that delights rather than bores. In a fascinating and entertaining lecture, astrophysicist and bestselling author Mario Livio surveys and interprets cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience that aims at exploring and understanding the origin and mechanisms of human curiosity.  As part of his research into the subject, Livio examined in detail the personalities of two individuals who arguably represent the most curious minds to have ever existed: Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He also interviewed 9 exceptionally curious people living today, among them Fabiola Gianotti, the Director General of CERN (who is also an accomplished pianist), paleontologist Jack Horner, and the virtuoso lead guitarist of the rock band Queen, Brian May (who also holds a PhD in astrophysics), and Livio presents fascinating conclusions from these conversations.

Mario-LivioDr. Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist, a best-selling author, and a popular speaker.He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, who worked for 24 years with the Hubble Space Telescope. He has published more than 400 scientific papers on topics ranging from Dark Energy and cosmology to black holes and extrasolar planets. 

Dr. Livio is also the author of six popular science books, including The Golden Ratio (an International Bestseller for which he received the Peano Prize and the International Pythagoras Prize) and Is God A Mathematician? (that was the basis for the 2016 Emmy-nominated TV NOVA program “The Great Math Mystery”). Livio's book Brilliant Blunders was a national bestseller in the U.S., and was selected by the Washington Post as one of the " Best Books of the Year.” His new book, Why? What Makes Us Curious, appeared in the U.S. in July, 2017.

Light refreshments and a book signing will follow the event.

Directions and Parking:

The Roth Auditorium is located at:

The Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr.
La Jolla, California 92037

There is limited space available for street parking along Torrey Pines Scenic Drive and in the east parking lot adjacent to the Sanford Consortium building. Please refer to the following sites for maps, driving directions and parking, or check the embedded map below: