The WSJ Calls Sam Arbesman's The Half Life of Facts "Delightfully Nerdy"
Another example is the Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus debacle. For a century, we believed that the Brontosaurus was the name of a dinosaur. However, it was eventually found that the Brontosaurus had already been discovered years earlier under the name Apatosaurus—and the Brontosaurus never really existed. These two examples may make some people worry that they will never know what to believe, seeing as facts change so often. However, Arbesman says that there is a way to navigate these changes. "Far better than learning facts is learning how to adapt to changing facts," he says, adding that we need to "stop memorizing things."
Arbesman is a Senior Scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. He is also a contributor to Wired. His book, The Half-life of Facts, has sparked a major debate in the scientific and non-scientific communities alike. He is adept at bringing his research to the masses, explaining scientific theory with ease in his engaging keynotes.