Why some scientific ideas must die

[ Wed. Apr. 29. 2015 ]

Are there scientific ideas that have become too old and are actually blocking progress instead of enabling it? According to John Brockman - publisher of the world's smartest website Edge.org - there are. So he challenged the greatest scientists, artists and philosophers to answer the question: "What scientific idea needs to be retired in order to make room for new ideas to advance?" The answers he put into a book of 175 essays that he called "This Idea must die". Lawrence Pollard has been speaking to John Brockman.

It all started with a young scientist named Laurie Santos at a conference that I ran saying, “How do we get rid of some of these ideas that are just standing in front of us? Just blocking everybody?” A lot of these ideas have to do with being promulgated by elderly, white males still alive whose names are attached to them. It comes down to is science advertising or is it argument?


  • Edge.org
  • John Brockman
  • This Idea Must Die