The Pursuit of Ignorance - Free Paper Example

Published: 2023-11-10
The Pursuit of Ignorance - Free Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Science Personality Human behavior
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 550 words
5 min read


Stuart Firestein TED talk "The pursuit of ignorance," discusses the idea of science and ignorance. Firestein points out that there is a common misconception amongst students and people trying to understand the science that claims scientists know everything (Firestein 02:42). He elaborates science as a mechanism for collecting and organizing data. Firestein appreciates the excellent work done by scientists, but he feels that they forget about the pursuit of the ignorance surrounding the field of science. Firestein suggests that scientists do not focus on discussing what they know, but they instead concentrate on what they do not understand (Firestein 02:42). Science is all about bridging the knowledge gap by asking curious questions about the unknown. This paper analyses Stuart Firestein TED talk, "The pursuit of ignorance," paying attention to the main ideas.

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Firestein wants students and people interested in science to understand that ignorance is more crucial towards discovery than knowledge. Firestein asserts that many students believe that they must know everything; however, he thinks that is not the right idea (Firestein 02:42). He instead calls out for a process that ignorance pushes students to discover things. Firestein proposes a scientific process approach in the quest for knowledge (Firestein 05:04). He suggests that students should first acknowledge that they do not know something to be eager to find out. That mystery of not knowing is what pushes people to discover. Firestein claims that people figure out things through observations and experiments. If they get it wrong, they try to answer more critical questions to quench their curiosity. Firestein believes that knowledge generates ignorance (Firestein, 05:04). There are a lot of things scientists know, but they certainly do not know everything. Science keeps expanding, and with the growth, many new concepts emerge that people do not know. Hence ignorance is vital in science and discovery.


The graph indicates temperature changes in Eastern Tennessee and Western NC in between 1960 and 2012. Both areas indicate a rise in temperature over the past 50 years. The two regions experience a rising trend in terms of temperature, but the curve flattens in the end. There is a close range of temperature that explains why the curves flatten at the end. Eastern Tennessee experiences the lowest conditions in 1976, whereas Western NC experiences lower temperatures in 1976. From the graph, the two areas experienced hottest temperatures in 1998-2000. Eastern Tennessee experiences warmer climatic conditions compared to Western NC. However, the graph fails to elaborate on what causes the rise in temperature. The graph does not indicate why the two areas are different in terms of their climatic conditions.


When analyzing this graph, we must acknowledge that we do not know everything like Firestein suggests (Firestein 02:42). Our ignorance will be key in figuring or discovering the truth. We are provided with the data; it is not a must; we understand everything, but we should concentrate on what we do not know rather than what we know. Analyzing the graph and asking ourselves questions can be crucial in elaborating on the trends of the curves. To conclude, ignorance is more important in our pursuit of discovery more than knowledge itself. What we do not know is what inspires us to find out.

Work cited

Firestein, Stuart. "The pursuit of ignorance."2013.

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The Pursuit of Ignorance - Free Paper Example. (2023, Nov 10). Retrieved from

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