Number one is "Will we ever understand quantum mechanics?"
Hey, if it gave Big Al trouble, it's a pretty darn difficult question.
Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg:
String theory is attractive because it incorporates gravitation, it contains no infinities, and its structure is tightly constrained by conditions of mathematical consistency, so apparently there is just one string theory. Unfortunately, although we do not yet know the exact underlying equations of string theory, there are reasons to believe that whatever these equations are, they have a vast number of solutions. I have been a fan of string theory, but it is disappointing that no one so far has succeeded in finding a solution that corresponds to the world we observe.
Noreena Kurtz in the New York Times:
Faced with all these confusing and conflicting opinions, I had to work out which expert to trust, whom to believe and whose advice to follow. As an economist specializing in the global economy, international trade and debt, I have spent most of my career helping others make big decisions — prime ministers, presidents and chief executives — and so I’m all too aware of the risks and dangers of poor choices in the public as well as the private sphere. But up until then I hadn’t thought much about the process of decision making. So in between M.R.I.’s, CT scans and spinal taps, I dove into the academic literature on decision making. Not just in my field but also in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, information science, political science and history.
What did I learn?
Physicians do get things wrong, remarkably often. Studies have shown that up to one in five patients are misdiagnosed. In the United States and Canada it is estimated that 50,000 hospital deaths each year could have been prevented if the real cause of illness had been correctly identified.
I think with doctors you want to follow the Gipper's advice: "Trust but verify."
On this topic see also "Outcome Bias and the Interpreter" and "8 Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day And How To Prevent Them".
I joined in August 2009 when the price was $399. They've added a lot of stuff since then and I'm pleased to have the information. I think the technology, as the article indicates, has a lot of promise.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool."
Hemingway said, "The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector."
“For me, the real question is not about Fredrickson or Losada or Seligman,” Sokal says. “It’s about the whole community. Why is it that no one before Nick—and I mean Nick was a first semester part-time Master’s student, at, let’s be honest, a fairly obscure university in London who has no particular training in mathematics—why is it that no one realized this stuff was bullshit? Where were all the supposed experts?”
(Besides the obvious lesson, there's another important lesson here: the graduate student would have gotten nowhere fast if he hadn't first contacted two senior people who paid attention and who had plenty of juice.)
See also "How Science Goes Wrong".
"The science behind why you just can't stop eating nacho cheese Doritos".
Science has cracked the code of the nacho cheese Dorito’s ability to keep us coming back for more.
Ingredients, fat ratio, texture, and even the brightly colored bags all combine to make Doritos one of the most popular snack chip in existence.