Curiosity Is The Engine of Human Creativity: Let The Human Spirit Be Free
How lucky we are to be in a university and to spend our days engaged in scientific research; how incredibly delightful it is to explore the boundaries of new knowledge, and to be paid a salary and earn a living while doing so! Yet, this good fortune does come with a responsibility to share our curiosity and our enlightenment with the public at large.
While scientific research may formally be the business of universities and established research institutions, the future of humanity cannot be entrusted only to these small communities. To secure the future of our planet, and to find the cure for the ills that potentially threaten us, we must unleash the full creative potential of every person in every corner of the world.
The most important resource on this unique planet is the dynamic range of the human brain, enriched by the diversity and the intensity of the wants/wishes of every individual, embodied within him/her at birth, and amplified, redirected or diminished by means of the society around him. To take full advantage of this resource, we must engage the individual with the single-minded priority (obsession, if you will) of the liberation of the human spirit, resisting all urges to teach ‘knowledge’, to encourage ‘conformity’ or to impose ‘societal norms’. Our sole purpose must be to not inhibit and/or to not extinguish the very engine of creativity, the only reason for discovery, and, in the end, the only hope for unearthing the unknown unknowns.
The only real engine of human creativity is curiosity. It may well be the case that the less a person does know, the more curious he/she may be of the surrounding world. A well-educated engineer or scientist may feel content with his/her knowledge and may already ‘know’ why the sky is blue or why the leaves are green or what fire is made of, and may thus be less curious. The inquisitive mind that knows less or none may harbor the deepest and the most intense curiosities. We must thus be careful to not disseminate ‘knowledge’ as truths that are settled once and for all, but instead emphasize the new questions that are raised by those things that we do think we know.
As we undertake the liberation of the human spirit as our singular goal, we must allow rebellion of all kinds; we must truly allow individuals to think/act outside societal norms. We must not subdue the ‘outcasts’ to our ways because if we do so we run the risk of being limited by ourselves. We must let the human spirit be free so that we can truly unleash it to find the unknown unknowns. The search for the unknowns must be the goal in itself, without necessarily rationalized or ‘useful’ results, for only in the context of such a search may we reap the benefits of ‘serendipity’.
KURIOUS is our attempt at Koç University to share our curiosity with the public at large, so that we can trigger the curiosity of those that on the surface may ‘know’ less than us, but in reality are better positioned to unearth the unknown unknowns. Let curiosity reign, let the human spirit be free . . .