We all have more knowledge than we use; even so, say the editors of this book, ignorance often governs our actions. Society continues to find ways to misuse knowledge–from manipulating information to gain political power to restricting what ideas are explored on university campuses. Thus, when some of the best minds in the country met to focus on the optimum utilization of knowledge, it was not an idle academic inquiry. In these proceedings from that conference, which was sponsored by the Academy of Independent Scholars, the contributors examine several of the key aspects of learning: the importance of knowledge in decision making, the role of our educational system and other systems in producing and disseminating knowledge, and the relationship between knowledge and the physiological, psychological, and cultural bases of the learning process. The misuse of knowledge–or the overuse of ignorance–the authors note, could threaten the existence of the entire planet, if the kind of thinking exemplified by the nuclear arms race prevails.
Foreword -- The Optimum Utilization of Knowledge: Some Central Concepts -- What Do We Mean by the Optimum Utilization of Knowledge? -- What Do We Know About Human Learning? -- The Brain, Cognitive Commodities, and the Enfolded Order -- Males and Females and the Learning Process -- Brain Development: Implications for Educational Policy and Practice -- The Impact of Cultural Diversity on the Spread of Knowledge -- The Fear of Knowledge -- How to Apply the Knowledge of Learning -- Formal and Informal Systems of Knowledge -- Concept-Based Learning -- Strategies in Transmitting Knowledge in the School System -- The Laboratory of Archimedes -- Knowledge as a Manageable Resource in Educational Systems -- Fragmentation of Knowledge: An Obstacle to Its Full Utilization -- Closing the Gap Between Frontier Thinking and the Curriculum -- Applying Knowledge to Decision Making -- Closing the Gap Between Expanding Knowledge and Society Through Television in the U.S. -- Mass Media: Knowledge as Entertainment -- Adapting Technology Knowledge to Social Needs -- Accountability in Research: Examples from Agriculture -- The Overutilization of Ignorance of Science and Technology in the Making of Public Policy -- Power Is Knowledge: The Linkages Between the Political System and Knowledge -- Economic Issues in the Utilization of Knowledge -- The Impact of the Arms Race on the Creation and Utilization of Knowledge -- Education for Reflection-in-Action: An Alternative to the Positivist Epistemology of Practice -- The Creation and Utilization of Knowledge in the Business Community -- Optimizing the Uses of Medical Knowledge -- Mediating Structures in the Utilization of Knowledge