Artificial intelligenceIn the news

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!


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.


  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.
Rate this post

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes ( is a knowledge management (KM), environmental management, and education professional with over 30 years of experience in Australia and China. His work has received high-level acclaim and been recognised through a number of significant awards. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group at Wageningen University and Research, and holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction. He is also the editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (, and teaches in the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Certified High-school Program (CHP).

Related Articles

Back to top button