Embracing the Unknown

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Media Outlet: The Scientist

Scholars have sliced and diced the terms “ambiguity,” “uncertainty,” and “ignorance,” among others, in a variety of different ways. Oftentimes, the usefulness of these sharp lines isn’t plainly apparent. But one dividing line between types of unknowns that has recently led researchers to fascinating new biological insights is the distinction between risk and ambiguity. 

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Jamie Holmes is a Future Tense Fellow at New America and the author of Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing. Previously, he was a policy analyst within New America’s Global Assets Project.