The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Curiosity

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Curiosity


  • Andrew Briggs, The University of Oxford, UK
March 8, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am


Briggs will explore how curiosity about how the world works can lead to beneficial progress in technology and will examine how curiosity about ultimate questions can create an environment conducive to scientific breakthroughs. He will also discuss how this interplay can be found in quantum nanoscience, and he will draw comparisons to Eugene Wigner’s own observations about the miracle of the effectiveness of mathematics. 

Additional Information 

About the Speaker:
Professor Andrew Briggs is the inaugural chair in nanomaterials at the University of Oxford. Best known for his pioneering work in acoustic microscopy for materials characterization, Briggs is currently focusing on nanomaterials for new technologies and for incorporation into practical devices. He has served as the director of the United Kingdom’s Quantum Information Processing Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and a member of the International Society for Science and Religion and Academia Europaea. 

Attendance is highly encouraged. Transportation to and from the SNS will be available the morning of the lecture. Shuttles will run from the main campus beginning at 9 a.m. ORNL buses will run from the Visitor Center to SNS, including pickups at Building 1520. Buses will resume after the talk.

Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture. The talk will not be webcast live but will be available for later viewing on the Wigner lecture webpage.

Sponsoring Organization 

The Eugene P. Wigner Distinguished Lecture Series in Science, Technology, and Policy, hosted by the ORNL Corporate Fellows


  • Iran Thomas Auditorium
  • Building: Central Laboratory and Office Building (8600)
  • Room: A-103

Contact Information