There was a time when curiosity was condemned. Through curiosity, our incence 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 kw. There seems w to be question too vast or too trivial. No longer reviled, curiosity is w 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.
Philip Ball writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and worked for many years as an editor for physical sciences at Nature. His books cover a wide range of scientific and cultural phenomena, and include Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct, Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Serving The Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Science Under Hitler and Invisible: The history of the Unseen from Plato to Particle Physics.