Michael Smithson and Gabriele Bammer co-teach an edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Ignorance!”: https://www.edx.org/course/ignorance-wu-zhi-anux-igno101x
Current status: Available in self-paced mode.
Run: January 10 – March 13, 2017; June 23-August 4, 2015
Find out more:2017 feedback from the discussion forum (PDF 45KB)
Synopsis: Ignorance is a neglected topic, and yet it is central to the human condition. This course presents a comprehensive framework for understanding, coping with, and making decisions in the face of ignorance. Course participants learn that ignorance is not always negative, but has uses and benefits in domains from everyday life to the farthest reaches of science where ignorance is simultaneously destroyed and new ignorance created. They discover the roles ignorance plays in human relationships, culture, and how it underpins important kinds of social capital. There is no other course like this in the world. And ignorance is everyone’s business.
The MOOC is based on Michael Smithson’s pioneering work in this area. Gabriele Bammer is looking specifically at the importance of ignorance in dealing with complex problems.
Language: The course is in English, with the captions and transcripts also available in traditional and simplified Chinese.
Amendment: The original plan was to run the course in two five week blocks in June and September 2015, respectively. After considerable thought and discussion following the first block, we decided instead to run the course in one expanded eight week session, which went live on 10 January 2017.