BookshelfJacob deGroot-Maggetti

Ignorance: How it Drives Science – Stuart Firestein

Thoughts: Ignorance is a short meditation by Stuart Firestein on the value of ignorance, particularly in scientific practice. It’s pitched toward non-scientists, and and while I didn’t find any of the points he raised particularly groundbreaking, there are still some useful insights. It’s short, and a worthwhile read.

(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)

Firestein, Stuart. 2012. Ignorance: How it Drives Science. Oxford UP.


One: A Short View of Ignorance

Two: Finding Out

Three: Limits, Uncertainty, Impossibility, and Other Minor Problems

Four: Unpredicting

Five: The Quality of Ignorance

Six: You and Ignorance

Seven: Case Histories

Posted: Aug 26, 2021. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.