SciBar: October 2011: Prof. Russell Stannard: The End of Discovery.

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  • Year: 2011

Prof Russell Stannard, author, physicist and broadcaster will discuss his latest book, The End of Discovery: are we approaching the boundaries of the knowable?

It is generally thought that science, by its very nature, must always progress. But this is not so. One day, fundamental science will come to an end. Not when we have discovered everything, but when we have discovered whatever is open to us to understand - which is not the same thing.

Limitations as to what the human brain can comprehend, together with practical considerations to do with the need for ever more elaborate and expensive equipment, are likely to ensure that our knowledge will remain for ever incomplete. A further indication that the world will ultimately retain some of its mystery is suggested by evidence that in certain directions, scientific enquiry might already have come up against the boundaries of the knowable.