How the World Conceals its Secrets - RSA

How the World Conceals its Secrets

Public talks


The Great Room, RSA House

  • Cognition
  • Science

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How can we navigate our current crisis of knowledge? The answer might lie in admitting how much we don’t know.


In a bid to understand the world, we develop theories – in science, medicine, psychology, economics – designed to discern patterns and order. But we encounter mysteries and surprises that these theories cannot explain; curious irregularities that mess up our attempts to comprehend the world. This is down to the ‘hidden half’ – the random, unknowable variables beyond the bounds of our usual reasoning.

How can we understand these hidden forces that defy our normal means of explanation? And what can they tell us about the way we think? Writer and broadcaster Michael Blastland shares his research into the most intriguing anomalies in the world around us, and reminds us that discovering how much more there is to know, rather than being cause for despair, can be fascinating and inspiring. By adapting our thinking and accepting the limits of our understanding, we can become wiser and better equipped to make sense of the world.


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