Curiosity is a wonderful monograph by British science writer Philip Ball. He chronicles how, many centuries ago, under the influence of religion, curiosity became a shameful characteristic, a twin to arrogance (mostly because being curious signaled you weren’t content to merely gawp in gratitude at God’s creation). Eventually, to humankind’s credit, curiosity morphed into a trait celebrated for its role in scientific progress.
At my request, Ball’s U.S. publisher, the University of Chicago Press, sent me three hardcover copies to give away to readers of this blog.**
Here are, in my highly subjective opinion, the three best submissions, in no particular order.