Centring curiosity

There’s some sampling bias in how often biographies I read centre curiosity. But I wonder if it’s more my choice of reading material, than it is the kind of people who get biographies.

I started reading a new biography of Jennifer Doudna. She won a Nobel prize for her work on CRISPR.

Almost immediately we run into her being an outsider as a child, her diverse interests. Her curiosity.

“Her work also illustrates, as Leonardo da Vinci’s did, that the key to innovation is connecting a curiosity about basic science to the practical work of devising tools that can be applied to our lives - moving discoveries from lab bench to bedside.”

CRISPR is something I know little about, bar a half remembered Radio Lab episode from a few years ago. So I’m really excited to read more, and whether this pays off.

But this does look promising:

“Curiosity-driven research into the wonders of nature plants the seeds, sometimes in unpredictable ways, for later innovations. Research about surface-state physics eventually led to the transistor and microchip. Likewise, studies of an astonishing method that bacteria use to fight off viruses eventually led to a gene-editing tool and techniques that humans can use in their own struggle against viruses.”