Curious About Curiosity

A featured discussion titled “Curious About Curiosity” will be presented at The 13th Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy (ACERP2023) and The 13th Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences (ACP2023).

Identical twins Dani S. Bassett (University of Pennsylvania, United States) and Perry Zurn (American University, United States) will lead the discussion based on their recent book, Curious Minds: The Power of Connection.

To participate in ACERP/ACP2023 as an audience member, please register for the conference.

This plenary will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.


Curious About Curiosity

In this interactive, interdisciplinary plenary interview and discussion, Perry Zurn and Dani S. Bassett introduce their new theory of curiosity as a relational or "network" practice. For them, curiosity is not so much a capacity to acquire new information as it is a capacity to connect.

The presentation and discussion will also explore curiosity's centrality to the humanities and the sciences, its important connections to human cognitive as well as affective functions, and the implications of this transformative approach to curiosity for education and our collectively curious futures.

Participants, both online and in-person in Tokyo, are encouraged to contribute questions and comments.

Speaker Biography

Dani S. Bassett
University of Pennsylvania, United States

Dani S. Bassett, University of Pennsylvania, United StatesProfessor Bassett is the J. Peter Skirkanich Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, with appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Electrical & Systems Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, Neurology, and Psychiatry. They are also an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Bassett is most well-known for blending neural and systems engineering to identify fundamental mechanisms of cognition and disease in human brain networks. They received a BS in physics from Penn State University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK as a Churchill Scholar, and as an NIH Health Sciences Scholar.

Following a postdoctoral position at UC Santa Barbara, Bassett was a Junior Research Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind. They have received multiple prestigious awards, including American Psychological Association's ‘Rising Star’ (2012), Alfred P Sloan Research Fellow (2014), MacArthur Fellow Genius Grant (2014), Early Academic Achievement Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (2015), Office of Naval Research Young Investigator (2015), National Science Foundation CAREER (2016), Popular Science Brilliant 10 (2016), Lagrange Prize in Complex Systems Science (2017), Erdos-Renyi Prize in Network Science (2018), OHBM Young Investigator Award (2020), AIMBE College of Fellows (2020), American Physical Society Fellow (2021), and has been named one of Web of Science's most Highly Cited Researchers for 3 years running.

Bassett is the author of more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, which have garnered over 40,000 citations, as well as numerous book chapters and teaching materials. Bassett’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Army Research Office, the Army Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, the Department of Defense, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, the Paul Allen Foundation, the ISI Foundation, and the Center for Curiosity. Bassett has recently co-authored Curious Minds: The Power of Connection (MIT Press) with philosopher and twin Perry Zurn.

Perry Zurn
American University, United States

Perry Zurn, American University, United StatesPerry Zurn is Associate Professor of Philosophy at American University, and affiliate faculty in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies. Zurn will be a Society Fellow at Cornell University in '23-‘24 and a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania in ‘24-‘25. He researches primarily in political philosophy, critical theory, and transgender studies, and collaborates in psychology and network neuroscience. He is the author of Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry (2021) and the co-author of Curious Minds: The Power of Connection (2022). He is also the co-editor of Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition (2016), Carceral Notebooks 12 (2017), Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (2020) and Intolerable: Writings from Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 1970-1980 (2021). Zurn is currently at work on a new monograph, How We Make Each Other: Trans Poetics at the Edge of the University (under contract, Duke University Press), and co-editing Trans Philosophy: Meaning and Mattering (under review). Zurn is the author or coauthor of 75+ additional publications in philosophy, political theory, trans studies, and network science and has given 150+ talks at local, national, and international venues. Zurn’s work has been featured in 50+ podcast, radio, and television shows, as well as in mainstream news outlets such as The Guardian. His work has been generously funded by the American Philosophical Association, the Center for Curiosity, the Hypatia Diversity Fund, the Lee Somers Fund, and the Mellon Foundation. Zurn’s previous appointments include Research Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Curiosity in the School of Social Policy and Practice.

Posted by IAFOR