Science and Conscious Ignorance

By Michael Edmonds 02/11/2013


I came across this TED talk by Stuart Firestein entitled “The Pursuit of Ignorance” and I think it is one of the best TED talks I have seen. In it he talks about how many people misunderstand science to be just an accumulation of facts, describes the importance of conscious ignorance, and also comments how he sees the current education system fails both students and science.

Several of my favourite quotes from his talk

“Science creates more questions than it answers … it’s a kind of job security”

“The bullimic method of education … jam a whole bunch of facts down their throats over a year, the puke it up on an exam over here”

“We have to give our students a taste for the boundaries, for what is outside the circumference, for what is outside the facts, what’s just beyond the facts”