Zach Ware’s 2017 Annual Question

I stumbled across last fall thanks to a friend’s recommendation. Each year it presents a question to a group of experts across a massive number of scientific fields.

Last month released its annual question and to-date, it’s received 206 answers from the world’s leading experts in their fields. This year’s question is “What scientific term or concept ought to be more known?

The annual questions make me feel like I’m being let in on a bunch of secrets.

This year, as in past years, some of the answers are uncomfortable. That’s a good thing. We should maximize our exposure to ideas that don’t conform to our world views. Uncomfortable ideas help us check our thinking and make sure we’re not operating with any biases.

Think of the beauty of this question. You get the opportunity to ask hundreds of brilliant people what they think the most important concept in their world is. It’s one of the more magical things about our networked world.

I recommend saving the entire set of answers as one massive PDF and reading it like a book. Trying to read it in-browser will probably set your computer on fire.

If you’re a skimmer you can skim the table of contents but be careful not to overlook ideas that don’t seem interesting at first. I’ve learned some of my most meaningful concepts from random situations.

First published on March 15, 2017