For many years I was Philosopher-in-Residence of the Curriculum on Medical Ignorance at the University of Arizona Medical School. I worked with wonderful students, and developed many innovative offerings collaboratively with esteemed colleagues Marlys and Charles Witte M.D.

We aimed to encourage aspiring and established physicians to wonder, ponder, doubt, revise, and research: in other words, to explore their dynamic ignorance fully, fruitfully, and fearlessly. Why ignorance? If we knew all, we wouldn't need physicians. We wouldn't need research. We could dispense with universities...and hospitals. But we don't know all. We know, in fact, far too little to effectively prevent disease, to cure, heal, and alleviate suffering.So medicine is predicated on our ignorance: on our inability to understand our complex systems and means of repair and renewal. Moreover, modern Western medicine dedicates significant resources to the ongoing discovery of basic biologic processes and sophisticated innovations in diagnosis and treatment.

This is terra incognita. The unknown. Fertile ignorance. Even a philosopher realizes that medical students like to ponder concretely. If they are to explore ignorance---as I required---they'd like a bit of "structure" to prod them. Something tangible. Something "real". A tool, they suggested. A chart perhaps, a diagram. "Of the unknown?" I ventured. "Absolutely," they said. Thus, I Iwas compelled to invent. And thus the Map of Ignorance came to be circa 1983.

This little map has traveled the globe. On its clones have scribbled Nobel Laureates, U.N. delegates, educators, physicians, artists, students, politicians, inventors, scientists, poets and ponderers from many walks of life. It's just a prop, a cosmic swerve, a silly prompt for exploration and celebration of the fertile home territory of learning. Gladly it receives the
epiphanic trials and triumphs of very blessed wanderer: every ignoramus. It awaits you.
Would you like to dialogue with the unknown?