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Samuel Arbesman Salon Talk, 10/30/12: The Half-Life of Facts

by Austin Brown on October 2nd, 02012

Samuel Arbesman is a mathematician and network scientist who has turned his powerful tools of quantification onto science itself. He’ll discuss his book The Half-Life of Facts at the Long Now Museum & Store on Tuesday, October 30th.

Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor-recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the Brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing.

But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know. Samuel Arbesman is an expert in the field of scientometrics—literally the science of science. Knowledge in most fields evolves systematically and predictably, and this evolution unfolds in a fascinating way that can have a powerful impact on our lives. –

This Salon Talk will begin at 6:30pm on October 30th. Long Now Members can RSVP for a complimentary ticket (the code is in your email and our September Quarterly News) and additional tickets are available to the public for $8.