Marcus du Sautoy > What We Cannot Know

What We Cannot Know – with Marcus du Sautoy
The Royal Institution. 2017

Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? Marcus du Sautoy investigates.


Die Philosophie des Als Ob

Die Philosophie des Als Ob
Hans Vaihinger
while sensations and feelings are real, the rest of human knowledge consists of “fictions” that can only be justified pragmatically.
In his view, even the laws of logic are fictions, albeit fictions that have proved their indispensable worth in experience and are thus held to be undeniably true. Vaihinger believes that it is not worth asking whether ethical, religious and metaphysical doctrines are true in an objective sense, since this cannot be discovered, but that one should ask whether it is useful or even necessary to act ‘as if’ they were true.
(For example, according to Kantian ethics, we must act ‘as if’ moral laws were laws of nature because of our non-physical consciences.)
He concedes that the concepts of fiction and ‘as if’ vary depending on the type of truth concerned, which may be logical, scientific, religious, or something else.[4]


Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare’s Maps

Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare’s Maps
WGBHForum. April 2014
Peter Galison introduces us to the world that Einstein grew up in, and subsequently changed forever, with the release of his earth shattering theory of special relativity.

Things, Ideas And Reality: What Persists?
May 30, 2010
Adam Frank

NPR cites:
Einstein’s Clocks and Poincare’s Maps: Empires of Time
Peter Galison
W. W. Norton, Sep 17, 2004

Einstein used clocks in Relativity Theory because that was the scientific interest of the day

Challenges in Irreproducible Research

Challenges in Irreproducible Research

No research paper can ever be considered to be the final word, and the replication and corroboration of research results is key to the scientific process. In studying complex entities, especially animals and human beings, the complexity of the system and of the techniques can all too easily lead to results that seem robust in the lab, and valid to editors and referees of journals, but which do not stand the test of further studies. Nature has published a series of articles about the worrying extent to which research results have been found wanting in this respect. The editors of Nature and the Nature life sciences research journals have also taken substantive steps to put our own houses in order, in improving the transparency and robustness of what we publish. Journals, research laboratories and institutions and funders all have an interest in tackling issues of irreproducibility. We hope that the articles contained in this collection will help.


Why We Must Continue to be Curious

Ian Leslie on Why We Must Continue to Learn and be Curious
Jun 18, 2014






Leo Burnett, founder of the global advertising company

collaboration across disciplines

The highest paying jobs in the future, like software development, are getting very cognitively complex.

We need to be T-shaped.

We need to be T-shaped.

he cites:

another RSA video (a review without original sources):
Can You Make Yourself Smarter?
Feb 19, 2014
Award-winning science journalist Dan Hurley investigates the new field of intelligence training, and asks: can we really boost our brain power?

more on Amit Singhal:

Genomics: unbiased, hypothesis-free investigation

a ‘Manhattan plot’ from a study of Crohn’s disease

Initial impact of the sequencing of the human genome
Eric S. Lander
Nature  470, 187–197 (10 February 2011)

The sequence of the human genome has dramatically accelerated biomedical research. Here I explore its impact, in the decade since its publication, on our understanding of the biological functions encoded in the genome, on the biological basis of inherited diseases and cancer, and on the evolution and history of the human species. I also discuss the road ahead in fulfilling the promise of genomics for medicine.

The greatest impact of genomics has been the ability to investigate biological phenomena in a comprehensive, unbiased, hypothesis-free manner.