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Ignorance - 2018

Ignorance - what we don't know

This lunch lecture series leads us to the frontiers of research, its greatest challenge and, some may say, its greatest enemy: what it is that we don't know, and that maybe we will never know! Or: that we don't know yet! Or: that we don't even know yet that we don't know! Or: that we don't want, or should not want, to know! Or: that we are not supposed to know! And in the latter case: who then is it who doesn't want us (academics, ultimately society) to know?
From the different perspectives of a highly diverse set of academic disciplines and research cultures, FRIAS Fellows will address these and other questions relevant for shedding light on ignorance. With the introductory lecture by Matthias Groß, co-editor of the “Routledge Handbook of Ignorance Studies”, the lecture series will also build on recent research in the fields of „ignorance studies“ and „agnotology“. The latter tackles the production of ignorance, for example ignorance about the dangers of climate change, smoking, nuclear power, fracking, or sugar in soft drinks.

Ignorance is nothing to be ignored! It has many fascinating dimensions, as we shall see and explore, in science as much as in society.

Some literature recommendations:

  • Groß, Matthias/McGoey, Linsey eds. (2015), Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies. Routledge.
  • the first 80 pages from: Groß, Matthias (2010), Ignorance and Surprise. MIT Press.
  • Proctor, Robert/Schiebinger, Londa eds. (2008), Agnotology. The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance. Stanford University Press.
  • Böschen, Stefan/Wehling, Peter (2010): Scientific Nonknowledge and Its Political Dynamics: The Cases of Agri-Biotechnology and Mobile Phoning. in: Science, Technology, & Human Values 35(6), 783-811.
  • Firestein, Stuart (2012), Ignorance: How it Drives Science. Oxford University Press.

May 3, 2018

Back to the Unknown: How Ignorance can be Useful

Prof. Dr. Matthias Groß, Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ Leipzig

Video Podcast
May 17, 2018

Answering a Question is (Usually) a Hopeless Task

Dr. Oliver Bräunling, Mathematics, University of Freiburg

Video Podcast

June 7, 2018

“Father of Ignorance”: How and Why Marginal Figures within Islam Remain Marginal

Dr. Majid Daneshgar, Religion and Islamic Studies, University of Otago

Video Podcast
June 14, 2018

Hidden Rituals in Medicine

Dr. phil. Stefan Schmidt, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Freiburg

Video Podcast
June 21, 2018

The Quantum Veil of Ignorance: Fundamental Limits to our Knowledge about the Microscopic World

Video Podcast
June 28, 2018

Ignorance and the Law: the Unknown, the Ignored and the Secret

Prof. Dr. Lorena Bachmaier, Law, Complutense University of Madrid

Video Podcast
July 5, 2018

Ignorance and Inconvenient Truths: How the Placebo Effect Became the Nemesis of Psychopharmacology

Prof. Dr. Anne Harrington, History of Science and Medicine, Harvard University

Video Podcast
July 12, 2018

On the Ignorance of Burdens and Benefits of Taxation: Fiscal Illusions and Tax Justice

Prof. Dr. Paolo Silvestri, Legal and Political Philosophy, University of Torino

Coming soon...

July 19, 2018

The Myth of Ignorance in Biology

Prof. Dr. Gunther Neuhaus, Vice Rector and Vice-President for Research, University of Freiburg

Video Podcast