The Value of Ignorance in Science 

The Authorea Team

Last Thursday, September 22nd, we held our 5th New York open science meetup (#opensciencenyc). Science journalists, Columbia faculty members, and enthusiasts from our open science meetup group came out to hear Dr. Stuart Firestein talk about ignorance in scientific research and why it is necessary and valuable (yes, you read that right).
Hailing from Philadelphia, Stuart moved to California where he worked as a theater director before attending San Francisco State and later UC Berkeley where he earned a PhD in neurobiology. He went on to conduct research at Yale Medical School prior to joining Columbia University where he now serves as Chair of the Biological Sciences Department. His lab studies the vertebrate olfactory receptor neuron and mechanisms of signal transduction.
 

Dr. Firestein is author of Ignorance: How It Drives Science and Failure: Why Science Is So Successful. He defined ignorance not as a willful action to be wrong or uninformed, but rather an acknowledgement that we don't know everything and even the things we think we know are likely not as absolute as we think.

We were unable to film the event but here are a few pictures and live tweets. If you're in the New York City area, join us at our next open science meetup!

A slide most researchers can relate to at some point in there career