Why We Need More Scientists in Davos 2015

In a panel titled “A New Era in the Fight against Cancer,” Scientific American Editor-in-Chief Mariette Dichristina talks with José Baselga, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Richard W. Vague, Professor in Immunotherapy, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. (Benedikt von Loebell/Flickr)

The NEF believes that the world needs more scientists. This vision is in line with the words of David Gleicher, the Senior Programme Manager at the World Economic Forum:

With geo-economic uncertainty and cultural tensions seemingly on the rise, the scientific value of embracing doubt seems particularly pertinent. Richard Feynman, a 20th century theoretical physicist and great promoter of science to the public, once said “science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” A healthy dose of skepticism about what we think we know and what others are telling us is true might be just what we need to combat the dogmatism and fanaticism that appears on the rise in so many parts of the world.

According to Gleicher, Davos heard from a large number of researchers, academics and stars this year, ranging from experts in artificial intelligence to quantum computing to cancer immunotherapies and stem cell therapy. Davos was an opportunity for scientists to share their valuable knowledge and expertise with world leaders and influence the direction of societal problems like climate change and incurable diseases. The NEF hopes that the core values of science will reach beyond Davos and to the rest of the world.