FrontiersInBiomedicine

Le cycle de séminaires des Frontiers in Biomedicine (anciennement "Frontiers in Biology"), initié par la Faculté de médecine en 2003 par les départements de la Section de médecine fondamentale, a pour but d’établir un pont entre médecine et biologie à travers une série de 8 à 10 conférences annuelles.
Des intervenants de renommée mondiale, actifs dans le domaine des sciences de la médecine, sont invités à présenter leur travail à un large public scientifique et médical. Les conférences sont données en anglais.


The Frontiers In Biomedicine (initially "Frontiers in Biology") lecture series was initiated in 2003 at Geneva University’s Faculty of Medicine. The series aims to bridge the gap between biology and medicine through a cycle of eight to ten seminars per year. World-class guest speakers from all domains of the basic medical sciences are invited to present broadly accessible lectures to a non-specialist scientific audience. In English.

Thursdays, 12.30 - 13.30
CMU - C150

Next Conference:

Jeudi 23 février 2017
12h30, CMU - C150
 
Prof. Stuart FIRESTEIN
Department of Biological Sciences
Columbia University University, New York

Stuart_Firestein_WEB2.jpg

« Ignorance, Failure and the Scientific Method:
a Case Study from Research in the Mammalian Olfactory System
»

The non specialist public generally believes that Science is governed by the Scientific Method and that it is an activity whose purpose is to generate Facts and truth (often with a capital T) about our universe; that it makes statements about the world that remain unchanged and certain.  This is true even of university students and even of science majors in universities.  It is not until graduate school that the working scientist learns that science is messy, not methodical, that questions are more important than answers and that failure is imbedded in the process.  Words like ignorance, failure, uncertainty and doubt, while generally negative in popular parlance, are the very characteristics that make science so reliable and so successful.  After convincing you of these "alternate truths", I will present some recent research and data in the olfactory system that may be seen as a case history of how evidence changes and how revision is a victory in science.  It will also demonstrate that, in spite of this revisionistic process, unsettled science is not unsound science.

The two pillars of science are ignorance and failure. And the values of science are not fact, surety and conviction, but ignorance, doubt and uncertainty. Yet uncertainty is not unreliability, and unsettled science is not unsound science”. Stuart Firestein


Host: Prof. Pedro HERRERA
Département de médecine génétique et développement, Faculté de Médecine, UNIGE

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