A New Science

An unusual meeting of scientists took place in Paris this summer, when scientists gathered to brainstorm about the need for a new science, one that could be as revolutionary as Einstein’s insights were a century ago.

Most scientists assume that the basics of science are known. In terms of big challenges, the conventional wisdom is that few things are left to discover. The remaining options are said to fall into three groups: “grand scientific quandaries” (such as uniting gravity and electricity into one theory) which require a huge investment and first world infrastructure; “data collection,” which is the field work associated with archeological digs and biological/genetic surveys; and “science-informed problems,” such as combating AIDS or addressing global warming.

Beyond that, many believe the only hard work will be to use existing laws to benefit humankind in new technological ways. Who can argue? After all, today’s models work.

But an emerging group of scientists points to phenomena that current theories do not address well. These problems are exceedingly common and artfully avoided because the science that would account for them just doesn’t exist.