IIT Gandhinagar and the Center for Curiosity to host ‘Curiosity Conference’ to deliberate on the role of curiosity in education, research, and innovation

IIT Gandhinagar and the Center for Curiosity to host ‘Curiosity Conference’ to deliberate on the role of curiosity in education, research, and innovation

With an aim to deliberate on the vital role of curiosity in improving education, learning, research, and workplace practices, the Curiosity Lab of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN), in partnership with the Center for Curiosity, is going to host ‘Curiosity Conference’ at IITGN from August 12-13, 2023.

Curiosity is a powerful motivator for people to seek new knowledge or experiences to widen their perspectives. It is frequently sparked by awe or ambiguity and can lead to the discovery of new ideas, knowledge, and new opportunities, which can improve creativity and problem-solving abilities. While incorporating curiosity as a tool in education enhances learning and retention of information to improve learning outcomes, fostering curiosity in the workplace has been linked to increased creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills, resulting in improved performance and productivity.

In a world where multidisciplinary education is becoming increasingly prevalent, integrating diverse inputs is necessary to achieve a comprehensive understanding of curiosity and innovation. The two-day conference will bring together researchers, educators, teachers, and industry professionals from India and abroad to discuss the role of curiosity in research and practice and its importance in driving innovation and progress across various fields.

The event will feature hands-on workshops on improving curiosity in classrooms and workplaces; talks on the current research by national and international experts; and poster sessions and exhibitions by researchers and industry professionals to discuss the latest advancements and discoveries in the field of curiosity-based learning. The conference will provide ample opportunities to the attendees to learn, collaborate, exchange ideas, and form partnerships. It will give insights on how to foster interest in learning novel information that can persist throughout an individual’s lifetime.

Participants can attend the conference by registering on the event website: https://www.curiositylab.iitgn.ac.in/conference. Practitioners and researchers can submit their research abstracts/posters up to May 22, 2023.

Some of the sub-themes of the Curiosity Conference include:

●     Inquiry-Based Learning

●     Neuroscience of Curiosity

●     Memory and Learning

●     Uncertainty and Decision-Making

●     Building Curiosity in Schools

●     Science Communication for Building Curiosity

●     Mindfulness and Curiosity

●     Interpersonal Curiosity

Key speakers at the conference include Dr Kou Murayama, Professor, Hector Institute for Empirical Educational Research, University of Tubingen, Germany; Dr Michiko Sakaki, Professor, Hector Institute for Empirical Educational Research, University of Tubingen, Germany; Lynn Borton, Producer and Host, Choose to be Curious; Dr Perry Zurn, Provost Associate Professor, American University; Prof Argha Manna, Artist-in-Residence, IIT Gandhinagar; Kushal Sacheti, Founder & President, Centre for Curiosity; and Prof Jaison Manjaly, Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Gandhinagar.

Sharing more information, Prof Jaison Manjaly, Principal Investigator, Curiosity Lab, said, “The Curiosity Lab at IIT Gandhinagar has committed its research endeavours to investigate the determinants of curiosity and explore how curiosity can enhance critical thinking and inquisitiveness. The purpose of this conference is rooted in the belief that curiosity plays a vital role in advancing individuals’ perspectives on the world. By gathering various stakeholders, including educators and industry representatives, the conference aims to integrate insights from diverse fields and supplement them with global research findings. It will serve as an exceptional platform for thoughtful discussions on curiosity.”

Kushal Sacheti, Founder & President, Center for Curiosity, said, “It is widely acknowledged that curiosity has long served as a powerful driving force behind personal success. However, our understanding of its true nature remains limited. This upcoming conference is poised to address this knowledge gap by inspiring scientists to delve into this emerging field of research. Moreover, we seek to enrich their endeavours by incorporating valuable insights and experiences shared by practitioners. By convening experts from diverse backgrounds, our collective aim is to cultivate a profound comprehension of curiosity and its profound impact on human cognition, behaviour, and overall well-being.”