Le dilemme de la curiosité et l’usage qu’on en fait

Un jour, Albert Einstein a déclaré « Je n’ai aucun don spécial, mais je suis passionnément curieux. » Bien sûr, ce génie faisait preuve d’une grande modestie. Cependant, il est évident que la curiosité est un moteur puissant des découvertes scientifiques. Effectivement, tout comme le talent, l’intérêt et les compétences mathématiques et quantitatives, la curiosité est une caractéristique obligatoire à tout homme de sciences abouti.

La curiosité trahit la passion émotionnelle. Il est courant d’être involontairement saisi par quelque chose qu’on ne peut éviter et, puisque l’on ne peut agir autrement, nous n’en sommes que partiellement responsables. Nous venons tous au monde dotés de curiosité et du besoin psychologique d’explorer le monde et d’étendre sans cesse l’espace que nous pensons maîtriser. Ce n’est pas une coïncidence si le titre d’un ouvrage célèbre consacré au développement psychologique est The Scientist in the Crib (Le scientifique au berceau), livre qui démontre le parallèle existant entre d’une part, le comportement du petit enfant et d’autre part, les processus et les stratégies de recherche propres aux scientifiques.

Or, la soif de connaissance qui conduit la curiosité innée à dépasser les horizons donnés finit par connaître ses limites. Les parents peuvent expliquer longuement comment, dès l’entrée à l’école, l’approche ludique de leurs enfants change du tout au tout, en raison de l’obligation qu’ils ont de se concentrer uniquement sur les objectifs fixés par les programmes pédagogiques. De même, aussi tentantes que soient ses capacités à produire l’inattendu et l’imprévisible, la science ne peut plus désormais faire abstraction de sa responsabilité envers la société.

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