The Most Interested Man in Kansas City

Bill AshworthScience, art, technology, history, space. Bill Ashworth wants to know about everything.

If  you’re curious, there are many things that Bill Ashworth wants you to know.

But here’s the main thing: Learning is fun.

That optimistic aphorism is more than a casual one to Ashworth and his devoted admirers, who delight in the local educator’s indefatigable interest in not only his chosen academic field—the history of science—but anything else that might tickle his circuitously inquisitive mind.

Ashworth is a longtime associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and consultant on rare books for the privately-funded Linda Hall Library, an independent research library of science, engineering and technology across the street from the UMKC campus. He’s also curated a variety of exhibitions at the Linda Hall Library and is a regular and much-anticipated speaker in UMKC’s Cockefair Chair lecture series devoted to continuing adult education.

Yet his insatiable intellect can’t be contained in even those prestigious capacities.

“I’m very curious,” Ashworth says. “I feel strongly about the importance of knowledge and that people should expand their horizons. It’s such a rich world out there both physically and historically. And I just think that we ought to embrace that as much as we can.”

Which is why, since 2009, Ashworth has taken it upon himself to craft fascinating and entertaining “Scientist of the Day” emails for hundreds of non-paying subscribers. Countless other readers encounter them as forwarded emails, reposts on social media platforms or daily at the Linda Hall Library website, whose wealth of digitized images is frequently drawn upon by Ashworth to vividly illustrate his absorbing missives…

Read the KC Studio article.