What don’t we know yet?

Or rather, what don’t you know yet? What great things are you, as an expert in your field, itching to learn more about? What do you want to work out how to do or make? Where do you want your research to go?

By focusing the campaign on what we do NOT know, we will show science as an incomplete project. If science funding is cut, then these questions will remain unanswered even if we are tantalisingly close to being able to answer them.

To kick things off, we want to start gathering responses to this question from anyone doing research in the UK. The Biochemical Society have kindly donated £50 Amazon vouchers for the best contribution!

How to get involved:


If you’d like to get creative then send us a photo or a video of you answering the question. Email the link to us at dontknowyet@scienceisvital.org.uk or just leave a comment here.


If you are a blogger then write a short post answering the question (keep it short!). Email the link to us at dontknowyet@scienceisvital.org.uk or just leave a comment here.


Simply let us know in a few well-chosen words – again, either by email or a comment on this post.

This is just the first stage. If the response is good, we’ll edit it up into something bigger and better very soon!

Categories: News

17 Responses to What don’t we know yet?

  1. Jamie Clark says:

    Where will the next generation of scientists, technicians, bankers, investors, cancer researchers and economists – the people who keep the economy going – come from if funding for science professors and researchers is cut?

    Oil prices skyrocket due to increasing demand and decreasing resources. Lorry drivers and commuters are striking. What do we do?

  2. In my e-Astronomer blog,I have had a go at my top ten problems in Astrophysics :


  3. Gary McDowell says:

    There’s a massive gap in knowledge on the human mind and particularly “consciousness”. What is it about us that makes us “conscious”? How does the brain work to allow this given that the brain of humans doesn’t necessarily seem that different to other animals?

  4. Paula Sanderson says:

    Every discovery that is made opens new avenues to discover more – so my response is ‘alot’

  5. Do you have to be an active researcher to do this?

    I will probably write a blog post on it anyway but I’m not in research as that has to wait for me to grow up (or at least for my kids too so I can go back).


  6. Becky says:

    We don’t know…

    – why we age
    – why identical twins don’t get the same genetic diseases
    – why drugs work in some people and not others
    – why the environment you grew up in changes your chance of getting a disease today
    – why so many clinical trials of promising-looking drugs fail
    – how some cancer cells can survive a treatment that kills all their sisters
    – how to solve the problem that bacteria evolve around antibiotics as fast as we can make them
    – how to interpret a genome sequence, and understand the consequences of genetic differences between individuals

    will that do to be going on with?

  7. Mark Tibbetts says:

    The question reminds me of Feynman’s quote: “We do not yet know all the basic laws: there is an expanding frontier of ignorance.”

  8. I’ve done a poem/rap on video about Why Science is Vital – I have a blog post coming as well that’s on what we specifically don’t know in the area I was/want to work in 🙂

    Here’s the video link to be getting on with though 🙂


  9. Andy says:

    “What don’t we know yet?”

    The names of 90% of the species inhabiting this planet.

  10. Andy says:

    As a revision of previous suggestion

    “What don’t we know yet?”

    The names of 90%
    & ‘value’ of >99%
    of the species
    inhabiting this planet

  11. Theo says:

    How the brain works to create consciousness.

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