Why curiosity?

Why
curiosity?

Curious about the future

We humans are certainly not the only curious species on the planet. But we have made the most of our curiosity. Thanks to technical and medical progress, today we have more possibilities than any generation before us. Curiosity was and is our energy of change.

But not all people pursue their curiosity to the same extent. And not everyone has the opportunity to be curious. Our interest in this topic extends beyond the boundaries of our company. In 2015, we learned some very interesting things about curiosity in the United States from the STATE OF CURIOSITY study. For example, a large majority of the respondents made a direct connection between the curiosity of employees and the innovative strength of companies. At the same time, however, only a minority of the respondents would describe themselves as being curious. This outcome raises questions: If curiosity is the nucleus of innovation, how can we retain our natural curiosity on a daily basis and give it room to develop?    

That is what we want to find out. To do this, we have gathered a group of EXPERTS to take a closer look at the topic through exciting content and discussions. What can curiosity achieve, how does innovation develop out of curiosity, and how do curiosity and a passion for discovery contribute to solving issues concerning the future? Through this website, we will keep you updated. And you can test how curious you are yourself. Just take our interactive CURIOSITY TEST.

At Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, we also see ourselves as belonging to the curious species – and have done since 1668. As a vibrant science and technology company, we promote a culture of being passionate about discovery; this is our contribution to shaping a better future and results in a wide variety of solutions. Some of these change life, some prolong it, while others are found in everyday objects that we couldn’t image life without. From cancer therapies to laboratory technology and liquid crystals in smartphones – Behind all of these solutions is the same driving force: the scientific curiosity of our employees.

We are curious about the future. Are you too?

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Curiosity is our driving force

Curiosity is our driving force

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Curiosity has already brought us far. For example, to the orbit of Jupiter, and that just 59 years after Sputnik became the first satellite to circle the Earth. Technological progress over time can appear exponential, especially when viewed in retrospect. Have we now reached the limits? Will intelligent machines be the masters of our future? Has human curiosity become obsolete?

Quite to the contrary: In my opinion, we can dare to be even more curious. That is what is required of us to properly grasp technical progress and to actively and responsibly shape our future. We need the curiosity to research throughout all areas of society. The mere fact that there are now seven billion humans presents us, and all the creatures with which we share this planet, with great challenges.

We love challenges at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and we too can look back on a history rich in curiosity and innovation. In 1668, Friedrich Jacob Merck laid the foundation for our company. Our development has progressed apace ever since. You can now find our ideas everywhere, such as in the liquid crystals in your display. The curiosity and persistence of our researchers are also to thank for the fact that the “seemingly living crystals” discovered by chance in 1888 have now become a technology that has forever transformed our daily lives. When you look at photos of the Jupiter probe Juno on your smartphone, you are most likely doing so with the help of our liquid crystals.

Through intensive research and development in our business sectors of Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials, we are doing our part to meet the challenges of the future. Over 50,000 employees of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany worldwide are working on technologies for a better life – driven by curiosity. We intend to continue down this path. I would be delighted for you to accompany us.

Yours,

Stefan Oschmann

Chairman of the Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany 

Our experts

Curiosity doesn’t happen by chance. It requires inquisitive minds and a willingness to explore. To help guide us down this exciting path, we’ve teamed up with a panel of experts renowned for their pioneering work in the field of curiosity.

Dr. Todd Kashdan

Ph.D. in clinical psychology, professor, lecturer, scientist and researcher. Todd Kashdan’s mission is to increase people’s quality of life. He has written numerous articles and books on the topics of curiosity, positive psychology, awareness, emotional imbalances and social agility.

Dr. Carl Naughton

MA in German language studies, romance studies and theatre education. Ph.D: in linguistics and educational sciences. Carl Naughton is a German/English author, lecturer and speaker. For over ten years he researched and taught at the University of Cologne in educational psychology while working as a consultant. He wrote books about thinking abilities, curiosity and communication. Together with Andreas Steinle he recently published the critically acclaimed study “Curiosity Management - fuel for innovation.”

Andreas Steinle

Master of social and economic communication, CEO of The Future Institute Workshop GmbH in Frankfurt. Andreas Steinle is a communications consultant with a forward-looking approach. Speaking regularly at international conferences, he advises both national and international organizations regarding change management and innovation processes.

Dr. Kunlin Wei

Professor of Psychology at the School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences at Peking University, China. Dr. Wei obtained his Ph.D in Kinesiology (motor control) in 2007 from Pennsylvania State University, USA. Dr. Wei is also a well-known television personality across China, having served as a judge in the award winning television show “The Super Brain” and his social media in China boasts over 3.5 million followers. In 2014, he was voted one to the “Top 10 Young Leaders in China” by one of the most influential national newspapers in the country.

How curious
are you?

How curious
are you?

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Caught
in a
loop?

Caught
in a
loop?

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