Professor Kerry Emanuel discussed the history of climate science’s revolutionizers and the path taken that has led climate science to be what it is today. Some of the major themes Emanuel emphasized include the duration of this path, its dependence on technological advancements, and the vastness of knowledge that has yet to be learned. However, during this discussion, one driving force was subtly spreadheading every part of the process: People’s curiosity in climate science. This leads one to wonder: Is curiosity the driving force for revolutions, and, or are other factors in play?
The origin of revolutions is a complex matter. Every revolution is unique, context-specific, and requires different resources to guarantee its success. Could curiosity be the sole driving force? Looking at the climate change revolution, specifically, Emanuel pointed to several early researchers. Each one of them was genuinely curious in how the world functioned. Whenever a finding arose, their curiosity only grew and prompted additional exploration, like the geologists noticing scratch marks on arctic rocks. Other major scientific revolutions originate from the power of curiosity, like the concept of evolution and even the expansion of technology.
However, did curiosity drive other revolutions’ success? One could argue curiosity for a better life and society drove the French Revolution, or curiosity of complete independence drove the American Revolution; but did other factors dominate these revolutions? I would argue for societal-changing revolutions, there are other overarching factors, such as anger, passion, and dissatisfaction. General curiosity is not bound to push for grand changes like these revolutions achieved; stronger, more pressing feelings and emotions seem to push these revolutions over the edge.
Albeit curiosity may not be the significant contributor to every revolution, it seems to be important in exploratory-revolutions, whether that be improving science and/or technology. This is intriguing, and makes one wonder about whether these fields of work foster this likely necessary curiosity.