Past Meetup

Is Science About Ignorance and Ignorance A Science?

This Meetup is past

17 people went


Is science driven by ignorance? Is the primary output (and input) of science ignorance? Is there a difference between low and high quality ignorance? Is high quality ignorance the result we should expect from good science? Is ignorance the engine that drives science? Simply put is science about Ignorance? Are knowledge and ignorance akin to the figure-ground distinction in perception? Would a new field exploring ignorance be a profound tool to help us better understand and appreciate the mysteries of science? Is the new field of agnotology(?!) or "the study of ignorance" a science?

According to neuroscientist Stuart Firestein, the answer to all of these questions is 'yes'! This discussion will explore if, whether, and how Firestein's thesis is valid. Join us to explore the very nature and essence of science from Stuart Firestein's perspective ... from the point of view of ignorance.

"Knowledge is a big subject. Ignorance is bigger. And it is more interesting." --- Stuart Firestein, p. 10

"Forget the answers, work on the questions." --- Stuart Firestein, p. 16

"Real science is a revision in progress, always. It proceeds in fits and starts of ignorance." --- Stuart Firestein, p. 22

The discussion will be based on Stuart Firestein's short, eloquent, and profound 2012 book Ignorance: How It Drives Science.

If you don't have time to read the book, here is Firestein's 18 minute TED Talk:

This meetup will be repeated on Sat 15 January 2015. RSVPs will open on Sat 3 January. (