Astrophysicist and best-selling author Mario Livio talks about his book "Why?: What Makes Us Curious" - listen in at

What Makes Us Curious – with Dr. Mario Livio

Knowing my interest, family and friends will often send me links or even old-school clippings when curiosity shows up in the news. When internationally-known astrophysicist and best selling author Mario Livio’s book Why? What Makes Us Curious came out this summer my mailbox practically exploded.

I missed a chance to hear him speak at the Air & Space Museum, but joined the throngs at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. a few weeks later to listen to what he had to say. It was a delightful talk – filled with research that has become familiar to me, but also with insights and connections that were new and exciting.

From my ring-side seat in the audience I explained I produce a radio show all about curiosity and asked, “Do you think people can choose to be curious?”

“Oh, absolutely!” he replied. “We must!”

Listen to Choose to be Curious #45: What Makes Us Curious – with Dr. Mario Livio

Dr. Livio makes a great case for the importance of fostering curiosity in kids. Nothing less than our future depends on it. And it was no accident that my very first show was with Micaela Pond, a teacher who does a lot to cultivate curiosity in her students.

Listen to Curiosity to Go, Episode 18: They’re Not Afraid to Ask

Why choose to be curious? Well, as Dr. Livio pus it, curiosity is one of the purest forms of freedom. It opens, first, our minds, and then doors and channels and paths and frontiers — whole worlds — that we can only begin to imagine. To choose the unknown is brave. To choose freedom speaks for itself.

purest form of freedom

Special thanks to my guest Mario Livio, and to fellow WERA producer Beverly Allen for making the introduction that made this interview possible. You can hear Beverly’s show Practical Security on WERA-LP, 96.7FM Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. ET and Sundays  at 8:00 a.m. ET, streaming at

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shop!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.