Unanswered Questions: New York Times Highlights the Benefits of Teaching “Ignorance” in Science


Here is a fine article by Sarah Chaffee at Evolution and News.

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Concerned that his students thought they now understood the brain after studying the course’s 1400+ page textbook, Dr. Stuart Firestein, neuroscientist and chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, wrote Ignorance: How it Drives Science. He was afraid his students might come away with the idea that science has all the answers. His book takes a more realistic view, describing scientific discovery as “feeling around in dark rooms, bumping into unidentifiable things, looking for barely perceptible phantoms.”

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Jamie Holmes, author of the forthcoming book Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing, shared Firestein’s story to emphasize the role of ignorance in education. He explains that ignorance can catalyze curiosity and prompt questions in fields from science to business to education:

To read on, click here: 

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