In her latest book, Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure, Maggie Jackson suggests that we need to rethink our attitudes on uncertainty so that we can see its value in readying our brain to update our knowledge of the world. “Uncertainty is a kind of wakefulness, you know, as a result of that neural arousal that occurs when you meet something new,” she says. “Uncertainty is really about waking up and then being adaptive, being nimble, being at the edge of what you know.” An example is the Mars Explorer rover mission, a collaborative effort that involved teams across the world in multiple disciplines to put rovers on Mars for the first time. The mission cultivated disagreement and that mattered because uncertainty drives a tremendous kind of collaboration, she says. “As I write in the book, you know, why come together to be less than the sum of our remarkable parts?”

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