Imponderable questions feature in every person’s life.
David Feldman has made a career of answering them. His Imponderables series of 11 books includes titles such as Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?, How Does Aspirin Find a Headache?, and When Do Fish Sleep? His imponderables.com website and Malarky bluffing game play further with our natural curiosity.
Feldman graduated from Grinnell with an independent major in modern literature, which allowed him to mix the works of profound Russian writers with such imponderable questions as “What makes sick jokes sick?” and “What is the aesthetic of soap operas?” He pursued these and related questions in Europe under a Watson Fellowship and at Bowling Green State University — at that time the only school in the world with a postgraduate degree in popular culture.
The book series he began in 1987 is a model for conducting research and weighing evidence. The whimsical surface of his questions thus leads readers to a deeper understanding of the nature of scholarship and the joy of discovery.
Insatiable curiosity is the starting point for expanding knowledge. It is also what a liberal arts education aims to foster, as a spur to lifelong learning. For his lively demonstration of the importance of asking questions and of the critical pursuit of answers, Grinnell College is pleased to honor David Feldman.