published on 19 Jun 2018
Authors: Jeremy G. Frey and Colin Bird
Science has been aware for centuries of the idea of known unknowns and unknown unknowns, even though scientists would articulate the notion differently from Donald Rumsfeld. The methodology of science is to investigate the known unknowns, striving to reduce uncertainty, but occasionally the unexpected happens and the scientist enters the realm of unknown unknowns. Uncertainty reduces when research is reproducible, but a survey published by Nature in May 2016 suggested that about half of researchers replying considered that there is a significant reproducibility crisis.