Summary of The Pursuit of Ignorance

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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.

About the Speaker

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



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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