There was a time when curiosity was forbidden back in the garden of Eden, and ever since some of us have asked questions, looked at the status quo and wondered why, how and if.
Reviewed by Liz Hurley
Curiosity focuses on what we consider the start of modern science, stepping out of the middle ages and focusing on the western world. It investigates what these thinkers discovered because of what questions they asked, and, more importantly, why they asked them. Was it a desire to know God; to attempt magic; was it out of boredom or out of a desire for money or power? Often their curiosity put them in harm’s way facing ridicule, poverty and excommunication but still they continued to ask questions.
Philip Ball has a wonderful writing style that elevates this book from more than just a popular science title. There is no doubt that his writing makes his topic accessible and come alive but there is also a great sense of in-depth knowledge. This book would appeal to a philosopher or historian as much as any scientistic. For a science writer Ball comes across as a polymath, loving and understanding the arts and philosophy as much as exploration and scientific experiments. Curiosity is an incredibly interesting and rewarding book that looks at a subject in situ and thus leads to greater insights.