In one of my new favorite TED talks, neuroscientist Stuart Firestein gives a supremely entertaining yet deep account on his view of what doing science actually is all about. He really captures some essential things that I think are difficult to convey to laypeople – or indeed for scientists themselves to explicitly recognize. He gives a number of great quotations I wasn’t familiar with before:
Thoroughly conscious ignorance is a prelude to every real advance in science.
-James Clerk Maxwell
Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating 10 more.
-George Bernard Shaw
Every answer given on principle of experience begets a fresh question.
Firestein finishes with a poignant critique of the education system. Really, really recommend watching this.
Via Open Culture.