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Cognoscenti: The Courage To Say 'I Don't Know'11:01

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Author Leah Hager Cohen at WBUR's studios. (Photo: Robin Lubbock/WBUR
Author Leah Hager Cohen at WBUR's studios. (Photo: Robin Lubbock/WBUR

We've all had moments when a friend, colleague or acquaintance, mentions a book or a band or a news event that we've never heard of or know nothing about. Rather than just admitting our lack of knowledge, we try to save face and pretend we know what they're talking about -- avoiding having to utter those three, difficult words: I don't know.

Author Leah Hager Cohen argues that,  in order to learn and grow, we have to occasionally admit that we don't know everything. Her piece,"The Courage to Say 'I Don't Know'," recently appeared on WBUR's opinion page, Cognoscenti.

Cohen joins Radio Boston to discuss the culture of academia and the pursuit of knowledge.


  • Leah Hager Cohen, Cognoscenti contributor and author of four nonfiction books and four novels, most recently “The Grief of Others.” She also teaches at Holy Cross college.

This segment aired on October 22, 2012.