THE ART OF CURIOSITY

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Host: Southbank Centre
Location: Purcell Room Queen Elisabeth Hall SE1 8XX
Speaker: Andrew Motion, Lisa Appignanesi, Hadley Freeman, Michael Mosley and James Runcie

How has curiosity produced some of science's best discoveries?

Most of our scientific tools – from telescopes to microscopes to x-rays and scanners – are the products of curiosity, of attempting to see more and better where senses didn't suffice. So are most medical discoveries, from the circulation of the blood to the workings of nerves.

Curiosity about individuals – their thoughts and how they think them, their perceptions, their emotional lives – is also what fed every psychologist from Hume to Freud to Kahneman.

The five judges of The Wellcome Book Prize (Andrew Motion, Lisa Appignanesi, Hadley Freeman, Michael Mosley and James Runcie) discuss the state of contemporary fiction and nonfiction writing about science and medicine, and the six shortlisted books that challenge our curiosity, fire our imagination, inspire debate, and help us to think differently about the world around us.

The 2014 Wellcome Book Prize shortlist:

Wounded by Emily Mayhew
Creation by Adam Rutherford
Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise
Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

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