Taking on knowledge crisis

The making of "The Thread of Red", by artist Paola Grossi Gondi, 2015. Photo from the booklet “Filo rosso / The Thread of Red”, edited by Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli.
The making of “The Thread of Red”, by artist Paola Grossi Gondi, 2015. See BioTechnoPractice and Paola Grossi Gondi’s Thread of Red. Photo from the booklet “Filo rosso / The Thread of Red”, edited by Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli.

Bio-Techno-Practice (or BTP) takes off from the shared recognition that a deep knowledge crisis is affecting our epoch.

The objective of Bio-Techno-Practice is to produce innovative thinking and action to reveal the misconceptions that make the connections among Bio, Techno and Practice difficult, and to seek the ingredients that allow the three separated worlds to interact fruitfully.

Symptoms of crisis are multifaceted and ubiquitous. Here are some of the most salient for the BTL focus:

  • The number of new drugs (in terms of active principles) entering the market has been steadily dropping for about thirty years, pointing to a deep need of re-thinking our ideas of pharmacological intervention.
  • The ‘invasion’ of new data from high-throughput methods asks for something very different from ‘smart’ algorithms that, while putting some order on data, are not sufficient to generate new theoretical perspectives.
  • The increasing fragmentation of knowledge is producing apparently incommensurable results that are practically impossible to gather into a common frame.

To grasp the roots of this ongoing knowledge crisis, and to discover possible solutions, we should stop and think, not struggle to have any ‘particular point of view’ prevail. Thinking more in depth is made more cogent by the widespread sensation that we are missing some very basic points and that the mere accumulation of new data will only worsen the situation.

Bio, Techno and Practice constitute the triple lens by which innovative thinking and solutions are expected to come.

Bio, Techno, and Practice are major focal issues of the contemporary world. At the same time, they need to be radically thought over, in connection with one another. In fact, the ‘biological’, the ‘technological’, and the ‘practical epistemic’ ways of thinking are already merging and contaminating their respective traditions, but this radical transformation of scientific understanding goes on largely unconscious or neglected.