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Choose to be Curious is a show all about curiosity. We talk about research and theory, but mostly it's conversations about how curiosity shows up in work and life. Now syndicated and available via Pacifica RadioNetwork.
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Can curiosity be meaingfully infused into design processes? Cassini Nazir thinks so.From curiosity journals to bookmarks and Valentine's Day celebrations, he's full of ideas about how to invite curiosity in, by design.Cassini Nazir teaches interaction design and user experience courses in the College of Visual Arts and Design at University of North…
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Summer's coming. Time to take that curiosity out for a little spin!Whether you're traveling far from home or enjoying a little "staycation," author, tour manager and explorer extraordinaire Andréa Seiger has tips for getting the most of your adventures.Why visit cemeteries, science associations and bus stops? Can you smell green? What do your knees…
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"We live in an experimenting society" Nobel Laureate Saul Perlmutter reassures us, "The fact that we can use partial information and do better is actually one of our superpowers."Third Millennium Thinking: Creating Sense in a World of Nonsense by Saul Perlmutter, John Campbell and Robert MacCoun takes the optimism and tools of science and helps us …
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It’s been ten years since self-described “questionologist" Warren Berger first published his best-selling book A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.Now, more than ever, we need the power and importance of thoughtful — and, as he would say: beautiful — questions.And what of the intersection of curiosity and que…
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I came across the heading "DISCOVERY MATTERS" as I dug around the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's website and I knew I was on to something.Janet Coffey, Ph.D., directs the Moore Foundation's Curiosity-Driven Science Initiative. She aims to enhance opportunities for active public engagement with science as a means to help cultivate a curious and…
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In his new and surprisingly uplifting book ASK:Tap Into the Hidden Wisdom of People Around You for Unexpected Breakthroughs in Leadership and Life, Jeff Wetzler distills the many lessons he’s learned into a curiosity-centric approach – “The Ask Approach” – that offers a way for all of us to tap into our desire for connection and into the wisdom hid…
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A few months ago, I got a text message from a friend: “I’m at a writing conference,” she typed, “listening to a panel of agents answer the question 'What are you looking for?' Kayla’s answer began: 'I’m looking for fearless curiosity.'”Kayla Lightner is a writer and a literary agent with Ayesha Panda Literary. Together we explored how she knows "fe…
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We talk a lot about questions here on Choose to Be Curious. But talking about questions is one thing, really wresting with them is another.Ken Woodward not only curates questions, he leans into them. Big time. And that has changed his life in ways large and small that are an inspiration to me. I think they will be for you, as well.“Wrestling with t…
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The first in a series: looking at a place from multiple perspectives. I call it "A Mile in Their Shoes". We begin with people who have chosen to care for a bit of the Earth, the big-hearted, hard-working, fun-loving Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail. They have found community, purpose and lots to be curious about...Check out Friends of the Mount Ve…
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I’ve been thinking that foraging – going from place to place looking for things one can eat – is a lot like the sampling and prioritizing of information gathering that neuroscientists are studying, just applied to things many of us readily dismiss as "weeds".Tama Matsuoka Wong is a finance lawyer turned professional forager. She got curious about t…
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Today’s conversation with Ben Rein, PhD is a Choose to be Curious trifecta: a neuroscientist, who studies empathy, has devoted himself to science communication, and willingly stands in the chaotic swirl where curiosity can go weirdly very awry.Ben is a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Robert Malenka's lab at Stanford University and a science communic…
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Author, journalist, sailor and community radio host Katya Gordon says radio pulls together everything she believes in: a shared purpose, old fashioned connection to one another, a vast array of differing ideas and priorities, and plain old hard work and commitment. We had a lovely and candid conversation about curiosity, spirituality, our many medi…
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Business and popular magazines are riddled with assurances that the best leaders are curious. That where curiosity goes, success will follow. I blithely encourage people to “choose to be curious.”But the truth is: it isn’t that simple.There is some skill involved. And, not surprisingly, more than a few social constructs.So, today we’re digging into…
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Do you have things you do, with any regularity, that feed your curious soul? Things that you just know will energize and enliven your day, your week, your whole month?You should. They make a difference.Allow me to introduce you to CreativeMorning, a global network of monthly breakfast gatherings "for the creative community" -- meaning: for you, me,…
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What might the rest of us learn from someone whose job it is to observe places really closely?I met movie location scout Aaron Hurvitz at a wedding last summer and immediately thought (1) cool suit, and (2) interesting job – seems like a curiosity enterprise to me! Aaron’s location scouting credits include Joker, West Side Story, Indiana Jones and …
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Addie Bracy is a professional ultra trail runner, coach, and sport psychology consultant. She helps athletes of all ages and abilities to prepare for the mental demands of competing. She says curiosity is key.Check out Addie Bracy here: https://www.strivementalperformance.comTheme music by Sean Balick; “Glass Runner" by Marble Run, via Blue Dot Ses…
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Matt Rogers is a political strategist by profession and nature. I wondered what insights he might have about how curiosity shows up in politics. More than anything else, this ended up being a conversation about the risks of incuriosity. Matt sees the dangers for his beloved Eagles, in his experience as a political candidate, and in personal relatio…
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The folks at The Center of Brain Health at the University of Texas, Dallas, want to empower people to be the architects of their own brains.At the heart of the the Center's work is the science of neuroplasticity – that our brains are works in progress, capable of remarkable continuous growth and strengthening.How might curiosity contribute? Dr. Jul…
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Rob Lawless has set himself the goal of having one-on-one, hour-long conversations with ten thousand people. He has four conversations a day, which he carefully documents on Instagram. I was #6041.If ever there were a curiosity enterprise, this is it.You, too, can be one of Rob's Ten Thousand Friends. Reach him at @robs10kfriends on Instagram. Tell…
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Soren Meibom, scientist turned visual artist, situates himself at the intersection of curiosity, creativity, art and science. His work blends the techniques of visual arts with the tools of science: data, formulae, charts, and graphs. His unique combination – what he calls “SciArt” – seeks to trigger our curiosity and ignite our joy of discovery.Ch…
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Journalist and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn helps rediscover and tell stories that might otherwise be lost. She specializes in helping Eastern European Jewish families shattered by the Holocaust reclaim their history. In 2022, she co-founded the DNA Reunion Project at the Center for Jewish History, which seeks to promote DNA testing as a tool fo…
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If you think poetry isn't your thing, spend some time with David Keplinger.David is the author of eight books of poetry and a professor at American University. We got to know one another through a humanities workgroup that was looking at how curiosity might be more effectively woven into the fabric of life at AU. He was a warm and profoundly though…
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Happy New Year, friends! I hope the new year is landing gently for you.I thought it would be nice to start 2024 not in overdrive, but in a conversation about taking our curiosity out for a leisurely ride, and I figured Justine Ickes was just the person for it.Justine is an instructional designer, facilitator, trainer, and ICF-certified coach. She h…
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Ask Andres Marquez-Lara what it takes to lead in the 21st century, and his answer will come swift and sure: facilitation.And facilitation? That’s nothing more — and nothing less— than putting curiosity to work in powerful ways personally, professionally, individually and collectively.Andres is founder and CEO of UFacilitate, a global platform for m…
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Yasmine Arrington Brooks was a teenager when she became the potential answer to a challenge. The child of incarcerated parents with a passion for making things happen, she founded ScholarCHIPS and hasn't looked back since.ScholarCHIPS provides college scholarships, mentoring, mental health supports, and a peer support network to college-bound young…
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Ilya Monosov invites us to rethink our understanding of the brain -- and to wrestle with the implications of how we define "curiosity".Ilya studies neuronal circuits of motivation, emotion, and learning at the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. But this conversation about how one neuroscientist expl…
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Part two of a wonderful conversation with curiosity activist Scott Shigeoka. Scott has just released his new book SEEK: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life & Change the World.In this second episode, we focus on a few of his favorite practices, including "Quicksanding" -- how to survive those scary, suffocating moments by slowing down. We explore …
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I think it's fair to describe first-time author and long-time educator Scott Shigeoka as a curiosity activist. His debut book SEEK: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life & Change the World focuses on what Scott calls “deep curiosity” -- the search for understanding that leads to connection and transformation and, in so doing, makes people feel seen…
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You wouldn’t know it, given her passion for research and accumulation of impressive academic credentials, but one thing artist and educator Rebecca Kamen doesn't do very well is read.Only as an adult did she come to understand that she lives with dyslexia – a challenge in making the connection between the letters on a page and their meaning and sou…
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Instagram and TikTok sensation chef Jack Zhang, aka @CookingForLevi, has some things to teach the rest of us about the adventure that is food and toddlers. His delightful videos are proof that bringing a little curiosity into the kitchen can make mealtime magic happen. Young Levi is a curious eater, eagerly joining his parents on the culinary journ…
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Maybe it was the pandemic. Maybe curiosity is having a moment globally. I’m not sure what it is, but the thirst for learning and the attendant explosion of science communication efforts in India are noteworthy.I sat down with Ruchi Manglunia and Shweata N. Hegde, aka Jigyasa and Utsuka, the charming — and unapologetically curious — co-founders and …
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What if the best answer to a curious, generative question like, "What are all the ways we could...?" is "Do less"? UVA Engineering professor Leidy Klotz, author of Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less makes the case to consider subtraction as a viable, reliable, and all-too-often overlooked strategy in a world that is biased to always add more. A…
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As the new school year gets started, I’ve been thinking a lot about the important teachers in my life, the ones who left an indelible impression. Those special educators helped me see and, as importantly, they made me feel seen. They gave me tools with which to engage the world around me, exciting me about it — and me in it.No surprise: Slovakian e…
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"Open-earedness" describes our willingness to explore new music. I’ve come to think of it as the auditory equivalent of open-mindedness. Good news: there's delightfully compelling evidence that choosing to be curious about music is good for our health and well-being!Tim McKenry, professor of music at Australian Catholic University, is a spirited ad…
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"I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times" is as encouraging a book as I can imagine. It is a curiosity guidebook par excellence, chock full of tips and tricks and a lovely reminder that, as author Monicá Guzmán puts it, “understanding the people who confound us is always, always wort…
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I can think of no better way to mark the rather miraculous milestone of my 200th episode than with a conversation about walking and wonder. David Pearl is an innovator in business and the arts. He's also inventor and founder of Street Wisdom, an exercise in meticulous whimsy that helps us find inspiration from strolling the streets around us."If yo…
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I first got interested in curiosity as a management tool in my role as chief operating officer at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a national grassroots nonprofit organization. NAMI had about 80 employees and nearly 1,000 mostly volunteer-led affiliates when I was there -- and it was basically my job to know everything. But I became conv…
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Respect matters says Julie Pham, PhD. But it's also relative, subjective, and contradictory. It's complicated. Her book 7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work makes the case that respect is all about honing our curiosity practices. Inward curiosity to unearth our own feelings about respect, and outw…
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In 28 very fast minutes we cover curiosity and creativity, the transformative power of asking questions, pivotal differences between general interest curiosity and deprivation curiosity, turning mind wandering into mind wondering, the loveliness of open mindfulness and implementation intentions ... and the possibility of an app for all of that!I re…
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Killer whales, honey bees, walking dunes and hugging trees? Those are just a few of the delights awaiting those who get beyond their front doors, both literal and figurative.Dina Pavlis has lived and played on the Oregon Coast for over 20 years. She is an avid hiker, outdoor enthusiast, nature photographer and volunteer interpretive ranger with the…
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Where does research begin?Tom Mullaney and Christoper Rae say it starts way before we think it does.Their book, Where Research Begins: Choosing a Research Project That Matters to You (and the World) is a remarkable book -- a workbook, really.They provide a curiosity-informed, generative process for finding and really understanding the questions und…
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The Curiosity Lab at IIT Gandhinagar (India) studies factors that generate, sustain and foster curiosity. The Lab is designed as an interdisciplinary space that promotes research and outreach initiatives specifically around curiosity. The Curiosity Lab takes on systemic inequalities, popular notions of what does or doesn't support curiosity, and ge…
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"A citizen scientist is anyone who is curious about the world and eager to help explore and understand it,” explains National Science Foundation director, Sethuraman Panchanathan. Caroline Nickerson advises SciStarter, one of the allied network of organizations promoting citizen science and April as Citizen Science Month. Her citizen science enthus…
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In 2017 Eva Marie Carney read a news story that changed her life. I invited her to share how being open to new information -- and allowing that information to influence not only her thinking but also her actions -- has enabled her to change other lives as well.This is an exploration of curiosity, very much as applied. Curiosity, in this case, in se…
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Claire Bown teaches techniques to help people connect more with art. Her guide How to Look at Art (Slowly) is as rich a compendium of curiosity practices as I've ever found. Claire's professional focus is museums, but she'd be the first to tell you: the skills she shares are useful anywhere...Check out Claire's work at Thinking Museum: https://thin…
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The well-deserved accolades pour in -- Newberry Medal, Coretta Scott King Award, Cyblis Award, and more -- but what caught my eye about Amina Luqman-Dawson's wonderful book Freewater was her deft deployment of curiosity. Whether as a springboard for her own writing and research, as an invitation to her readers, or the force that enables her charact…
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I had no experience with audio, radio, production, editing -- anything -- when I first undertook this show nearly 7 years ago. But I was an eager learner, improbably on the cusp of being on-air. I had big ambitions and, like many newbies, I had no earthly idea just how big they were. I wanted to open my first show with reveille from the Joint Base …
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Just in time for Valentine's Day we consider curiosity and how we experience and express love. Hailey Magee is a certified coach, educator, and writer who helps folks worldwide set empowered boundaries and break people-pleasing patterns. She says curiosity is her love language. That seemed like a conversation we would all want to have!Check out Hai…
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How might choosing to be curious about language influence our familiarity with, understanding of, or comfort around the very words we use to express curiosity --- or anything else? That's where this fascinating conversation with University of Arizona linguistics professor Sonja Lanehart started. But it wasn't long before we were talking about new w…
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