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Dr. Stuart Firestein's Scientific Method Speech on Question Propagation

In his scientific method speech, Dr. Stuart Firestein discusses knowledge and pursuing that which we don't know, otherwise referred to as ignorance. Rather than the negative connotations associated with ignorance like stupidity or disregard for commonly accepted truths, Firestein refers to ignorance in a positive light, as questions that need to be answered. He makes reference to several quotations, including one by James Clerk Maxwell that states, "Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science."

Instead of viewing science or ignorance that has a bottom or something that can be completely understood, he compares it to ripples in a pond. Ripples create more ripples, like questions create more questions. Knowledge provides a basis to ask better questions, which leads to high quality ignorance. The scientific method speech places value on what we don't know and sheds light on research practices.