"Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science."
James Clerk Maxwell, 1831 -1879
A great talk by Prof. Stuart Firestein at TED2013:
Loved the concept of thoroughly conscious ignorance. It can be likened and combined with deliberate practice, making for the deliberate conscious pursuit of ignorance.
Some more quotes:
"You have to know a lot of stuff to be a scientist, but knowing a lot of stuff doesn't make you a scientist."
"Knowledge is a big subject; Ignorance is a bigger one"
"Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating 10 more."
George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
The Principle of Question Propagation by Immanuel Kant:
"Every answer given on principle of experience begets a fresh question"
Yet the author asks to reframe:
So instead of how much you know about it, we could say, "What can you ask about it?"
So yes, you do need to know a lot of stuff as a scientist, but the purpose of knowing a lot of stuff is not just to know a lot of stuff. That just makes you a geek, right?
The purpose of knowing a lot of stuff is to be able to ask lots of thoughtful, interesting questions because that's where the real work is.
"In an honest search for knowledge, you quite often have to abide by ignorance for an indefinite period."
Erwin Schrodinger, 1948
Education is not filling buckets; It is lighting fires
W. B. Yeats
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