The fuel on which science runs is ignorance. Science is like a hungry furnace that must be fed logs from the forests of ignorance that surround us. In the process, the clearing we call knowledge expands, but the more it expands, the longer its perimeter and the more ignorance comes into view. Before the discovery of the genome, we did not know there was a document at the heart of every cell three billion letters long of whose content we knew nothing. Now, having read parts of that book, we are aware of myriad new mysteries.
The theme of this chapter is mystery. A true scientist is bored by knowledge; it is the assault on ignorance that motivates him -the mysteries that previous discoveries have revealed. The forest is more interesting than the clearing.Matt Ridley, How Innovation Works, p. 473