Summary of The Pursuit of Ignorance

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The Pursuit of Ignorance  summary
The more you know, the more you know you don’t know. Neuroscientist Stuart Firestein explains.


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Columbia University professor Stuart Firestein debunks myths about the scientific process – the idea that scientists methodically gather data to form conclusions about the ways the world works. He explains that knowledge rightly begets “high-quality ignorance,” which leads to more and better questions. It’s this “pursuit of ignorance” that he and so many scientists find exciting. getAbstract applauds this know-it-all’s learned observations about not knowing it all.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which popular misconceptions about scientific work abound
  • Why ignorance is good for science and
  • Why more knowledge leads to more questions.


People believe that scientists methodically gather facts and data to obtain a better understanding of how the world works. In reality, the scientific process is more akin to “farting around in the...
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About the Speaker

Neuroscientist Stuart Firestein heads the department of biological sciences at Columbia University.

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