Systems & complexity

MOOC on Ignorance!

In a recent RealKM Magazine article, which attracted considerable interest, we featured the videos from an Information Innovation @ UTS webinar on the topic of ignorance management. The webinar presenters were Michael Smithson, Jason Collins, and Matt Moore.

Michael Smithson has also joined with Gabriele Bammer to convene an edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Ignorance!” which is introduced in the video above.

The MOOC is based on Michael Smithson’s pioneering work on ignorance, and Gabriele Bammer looks specifically at the importance of ignorance in dealing with complex problems. Guest lecturers also make appearances in Ignorance! throughout the course.

The MOOC ran in 2015 and 2017, but is still available in self-paced mode. The course is free. It is taught in English, with the captions and transcripts also available in traditional and simplified Chinese.

The topics covered are:

  • What is ignorance?
  • Where does ignorance come from?
  • Are there different kinds of ignorance?
  • When is ignorance good or bad for us?
  • How are unknowns dealt with in different domains?
  • Can we make good decisions under ignorance?


Michael Smithson Michael Smithson is a Professor in the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University. His primary research interests are in judgement and decision-making under ignorance and uncertainty, and statistical methods for the social sciences. His publications include 8 books, 2 edited collections, and more than 170 refereed journal articles and book chapters.
Gabriele Bammer Professor Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change. This is described in Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems. She runs the Integration and Implementation Inisghts (i2Inisghts) blog and convenes the Global Network for Research Integration and Implementation.

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Also published on Medium.

RealKM Magazine

RealKM Magazine brings managers and knowledge management (KM) practitioners the findings of high-value knowledge management research through concise, practically-oriented articles.

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