What is the meaning of life? I once wrote to every philosopher in the UK to ask them. Their answers were meagre and dispiriting. One even included a death threat.
Since then I’ve moved on to study why babies have such a great time being babies. Anyone who has met a baby knows how much they delight in the world. As a baby scientist, I set out to discover why babies laugh so much more than the rest of us and what it tells us about the human condition.
It turns out that the secret of babies happiness contains lots of wisdom for the rest of us and fits in nicely with the very best answers to the meaning of life.
Caspar Addyman is a lecturer in psychology and director of the InfantLab at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has investigated how babies acquire language, concepts and even a sense of time. His Baby Laughter project has surveyed families all over the world to find out just what causes all those little giggles and he is interested in how laughter helps babies bond and learn. Caspar worked with Grammy winner Imogen Heap to create a song scientifically designed to make babies happy. His popular science book, The Laughing Baby, was published in April 2020.