Science of Learning Speaker Series: Ignorance: How it Drives Science


Thursday, October 26, 2017, 4:00pm to 5:30pm



Stuart Firestein, PhD
Chair, Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University

Knowledge is a big subject but “Ignorance” is an even bigger one. It is high quality “ignorance,” uncertainty and doubt not knowledge that are the true engines of science. Scientists do reach after fact and reason but it is when they are most uncertain that the reaching is often most imaginative. Dr. Firestein will explore the role which “ignorance” plays in the process of building scientific knowledge and advancing science; how it is that we can encourage students to embrace and be comfortable not with what they know but with what they do not know; and how we can teach and motivate students to develop and ask insightful questions which will allow them to grapple with uncertainty and ultimately advance scientific knowledge.