Wednesday, 8 August 2012
Expanding the Frontiers of Ignorance
The television obituary for the astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell, who died yesterday, included a wonderful, too brief, clip from a late interview with his fellow astronomer and Sir, Patrick Moore. Lovell said something like this: Twenty years ago, we thought we had a virtually complete picture of the Universe and how it works, but 'now we know almost nothing'. This, we should always remember, is what true science does - not establish certainty but constantly expand the frontiers of ignorance. Perhaps the final achievement of science will be to discover that, after all, we know nothing. But how would we know?