by Stuart Firestein (2012). The author – a neurobiologist specializing in olfaction – teaches a popular class on Ignorance at Columbia University. His primary thesis is that on a day-to-day basis, Science is less about Knowledge and theory than about ignorance. Ignorance and the need to reduce it is what drives individual scientists; it’s what they talk and obsess about. He has particualr disdain for hypothesis-driven research, favoring curiosity-driven science (what happens if I poke here?). While it is true that in sciences that deal with complex systems with highly heterogeneous and large number of components – be they molecules, genes or cells – such a curiosity-driven approach is much more likely to be fruitful (while decried as ‘fishing expeditions’ by review panels and usually passed over for funding) this is not the case in physics where hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in pursuit of very specific goals (witness the Higgs Boson). An easy read, the book starts out with an unsourced quote It is very difficult to find a black cat in a dark room. Especially when there is no cat.. This proverb does capture much of the elusive nature of scientific research.