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Ignorance: How It Drives Science Hardcover – 19 Jul 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199828075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199828074
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.5 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


This is a lovely little book, which is truly about what drives science; and its not about physics, or chemistry, or engineering, but real biology. (Jack Cohen, The Biologist)

This is a lovely little book ... Give it to your friends or relatives to explain why you do science. (Professor Jack Cohen FSB, The Biologist)

[B]oth concise and splendidly aphoristic. (Robin Ince, New Statesman)

A valuable acquisition for academic libraries, given the current emphasis on STEM education and undergraduate research. (R. E. Buntrock, CHOICE)

It is important to emphasize the creative process in the sciences. This is not just another methodological book on the empirical cycle, but an unpretentious and smooth-reading plea for attention on an uncultivated but mineable area. (Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie, Dec 2012)

An excellent read, [it is] a fine companion text for potential scientists a the beginning of their studies ... You may gradually become more and more ignorant as you read, and you will enjoy the journey. Ignorance in this telling is truly bliss. (Moran Cerf, Science Magazine)

a quietly mind-blowing new book. (Readers Digest)

Stuart Firestein, a teacher and neuroscientist, has written a splendid and admirably short book about the pleasure of finding things out using the scientific method. He smartly outlines how science works in reality rather than in stereotype. Ignorance is a thoughtful introduction to the nature of knowing, and the joy of curiosity. (Adam Rutherford, The Observer)

A splendid book ... Packed with real examples and deep practical knowledge, Ignorance is a thoughtful introduction to the nature of knowing, and the joy of curiosity. (Adam Rutherford, The Observer)

The fundamental attribute of successful scientists, Firestein argues in this pithy book, is a form of ignorance characterised by knowing what you don't know, and being able to ask the right questions. (Culture Lab)

About the Author

Stuart Firestein is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where his highly popular course on ignorance invites working scientists to come talk to students each week about what they don't know. Dedicated to promoting science to a public audience, he serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's program for the Public Understanding of Science and was awarded the 2011 Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching.

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10 August 2012
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