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Science facts that emerged in 2016

Knowledge sharing website Science Alert has compiled a list of 23 science facts that we didn’t know at the start of 2016. The new findings related to knowledge management include that it’s possible to live a normal life without 90 percent of your brain, and that for the first time, artificial intelligence beat a human champion in the highly complex game of Go.

The debate that is emerging around another of the 23 facts – NASA’s peer-reviewed finding that the “impossible” EM drive produces thrust – highlights the complexities that exist in science and how self-correction in science benefits scientific rigour and integrity1.

Yet another of the 23 facts highlights how attitudes and opinions can negatively influence the management of knowledge. In the 1920s, a museum director dismissed some of Leonardo da Vinci’s scribbled notes and diagrams as being irrelevant. However, a University of Cambridge professor has found that a page of these scribbles from 1493 actually contains the first written records demonstrating the laws of friction.

Be very careful what you dismiss as irrelevant!

Postscript:

Writing in the NeuroLogicaBlog, Dr. Steven Novella has raised significant concerns in regard to the Science Alert article “Meet the man who lives normally with damage to 90% of his brain” linked above.

Header image source: Scientist by Kristijonas Dirse is licensed by CC BY 2.0.

Reference:

  1. Alberts, B., Cicerone, R. J., Fienberg, S. E., Kamb, A., McNutt, M., Nerem, R. M., … & Zuber, M. T. (2015). Self-correction in science at work. Science, 348(6242), 1420-1422.

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes (www.bruceboyes.info) is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (www.realkm.com), and a knowledge management (KM), environmental management, and project management consultant. He holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction, and his expertise and experience includes knowledge management (KM), environmental management, project management, stakeholder engagement, teaching and training, communications, research, and writing and editing. With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee an award-winning $77.4 million western Sydney river recovery program, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support the sustainable management of landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

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