What Science Wants to Know

What Science Wants to Know

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Ignorance will always grow faster than knowledge. Scientists and laypeople alike ­would agree that for all we have come to know, there is far more we don’t know. More important, everyday there is far more we know we don’t know. One crucial outcome of scientific knowledge is to generate new and better ways of being ignorant: not the kind of ignorance that is associated with a lack of curiosity or education but rather a cultivated, high-quality ignorance. This gets to the essence of what scientists do: they make distinctions between qualities of ignorance.

This perspective on science—that it is about the questions more than the answers—makes science less threatening and far more friendly and, in fact, fun. Questions are more accessible and often more interesting than answers; answers tend to be the end of the process, whereas questions have you in the thick of things.

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