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Dr. Firestein is the Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences. There, he and his colleagues do research looking into the vertebrate olfactory system. He presents a highly popular course at Columbia on ignorance, inviting scientists from varied disciplines to come talk to students about what we don’t know. Committed to increasing the public’s appreciation of the sciences, he is an advisor to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science. This, in addition to his being a recipient in 2011 of the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award, given to recognize excellence in scholarship and teaching. And certainly not least of all, he was recognized by his peers by being named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We asked Dr. Firestein to join us on the recent publication of his book Ignorance: How it Drives Science. It’s a fascinating discussion touching on the history of science, how scientists do their work today, offering thoughtful tips on how we can convey the power of the scientific endeavor and ourselves increase appreciation for it. Do listen in!
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