In a world of rapid change, we can only maximize the benefits of scientific advancement — and minimize inevitable harm — by using the great tools of openness and accountability. Above all, acknowledging that vigorous criticism is the only known antidote to error. This collective version of "wisdom" is what almost surely has saved us so far. It bears little or no resemblance to the kind of individual sagacity that we are used to associating with priests, gurus, and grandmothers… but it is also less dependent upon perfection. Less prone to catastrophe when the anointed Center of Wisdom makes some inevitable blunder.

David Brin