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Why do we find things beautiful?

Humans seem programmed to appreciate beauty – but why? CrowdScience explores this question with a panel of experts at the International Science Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Humans seem programmed to appreciate beauty - whether that’s an attractive face, a glorious sunset, or a stirring piece of music. Of course, our individual tastes are all different, and culture plays a huge part too - but why are we so struck by whatever it is we find beautiful? What is that pleasurable sensation we get when we see or hear something we like? And has the ability to appreciate beauty given us any evolutionary advantages?

In a special edition of CrowdScience from the International Science Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, we are joined by a panel of experts to explore how far science can explain the mystery of beauty. We look to biology, the brain, art and mathematics, to see how patterns, rhythms and symmetry contribute to our experience of beauty. And we ask whether machines can recognise or ‘appreciate’ beauty – and to what extent artificial intelligence is starting to confuse or influence what we think of as beautiful.

Presenter: Marnie Chesterton
Producer: Cathy Edwards

Photo: A peacock. Credit: Getty Images/bobbieo

Available now

30 minutes


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