Unpacking wonder: from curiosity to comprehension

Steve Paulson, Michelle “Lani” Shiota, Caspar Henderson, Alexei V. Filippenko

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


From the macrocosm of the universe to the microcosm of the human body, our discoveries about ourselves and the natural world continue to spark our experience of awe and wonder. But how exactly does science define and explain the experience of awe and wonder? Social psychologist Michelle Shiota, writer Caspar Henderson, and astrophysicist Alex Filippenko unpack the emerging science behind the emotions of awe and wonder, including their role in our ongoing quest for understanding and knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-29
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Einstein
  • awe
  • dark matter
  • disenchantment
  • imagination
  • nature
  • wonder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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