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Failure: Why Science Is so Successful

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The general public has a glorified view of the pursuit of scientific research. However, the idealized perception of science as a rule-based, methodical system for accumulating facts could not be further from the truth. Modern science involves the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in uncharted territories, full of wrong turns, false findings, and the oc The general public has a glorified view of the pursuit of scientific research. However, the idealized perception of science as a rule-based, methodical system for accumulating facts could not be further from the truth. Modern science involves the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in uncharted territories, full of wrong turns, false findings, and the occasional remarkable success. In his sequel to Ignorance (Oxford University Press, 2012), Stuart Firestein shows us that the scientific enterprise is riddled with mistakes and errors - and that this is a good thing! Failure: Why Science Is So Successful delves into the origins of scientific research as a process that relies upon trial and error, one which inevitably results in a hefty dose of failure. In fact, scientists throughout history have relied on failure to guide their research, viewing mistakes as a necessary part of the process. Citing both historical and contemporary examples, Firestein strips away the distorted view of science as infallible to provide the public with a rare, inside glimpse of the messy realities of the scientific process. An insider's view of how science is actually carried out, this book will delight anyone with an interest in science, from aspiring scientists to curious general readers. Accessible and entertaining, Failure illuminates the greatest and most productive adventure of human history, with all the missteps along the way.


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The general public has a glorified view of the pursuit of scientific research. However, the idealized perception of science as a rule-based, methodical system for accumulating facts could not be further from the truth. Modern science involves the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in uncharted territories, full of wrong turns, false findings, and the oc The general public has a glorified view of the pursuit of scientific research. However, the idealized perception of science as a rule-based, methodical system for accumulating facts could not be further from the truth. Modern science involves the idiosyncratic, often bumbling search for understanding in uncharted territories, full of wrong turns, false findings, and the occasional remarkable success. In his sequel to Ignorance (Oxford University Press, 2012), Stuart Firestein shows us that the scientific enterprise is riddled with mistakes and errors - and that this is a good thing! Failure: Why Science Is So Successful delves into the origins of scientific research as a process that relies upon trial and error, one which inevitably results in a hefty dose of failure. In fact, scientists throughout history have relied on failure to guide their research, viewing mistakes as a necessary part of the process. Citing both historical and contemporary examples, Firestein strips away the distorted view of science as infallible to provide the public with a rare, inside glimpse of the messy realities of the scientific process. An insider's view of how science is actually carried out, this book will delight anyone with an interest in science, from aspiring scientists to curious general readers. Accessible and entertaining, Failure illuminates the greatest and most productive adventure of human history, with all the missteps along the way.

30 review for Failure: Why Science Is so Successful

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    For me, this was a failure, which I suppose the author will take as a compliment. The writing is clunky, e.g. "Because science does, after all, have a lot of facts. For all my ranting against the overly hallowed attitude toward facts, in this book and my earlier one, Ignorance, the truth is that science has facts, lots of them." While some points are interesting, too many are painfully obvious. The author states that the book is not for scientists because they will find nothing new here. But non- For me, this was a failure, which I suppose the author will take as a compliment. The writing is clunky, e.g. "Because science does, after all, have a lot of facts. For all my ranting against the overly hallowed attitude toward facts, in this book and my earlier one, Ignorance, the truth is that science has facts, lots of them." While some points are interesting, too many are painfully obvious. The author states that the book is not for scientists because they will find nothing new here. But non-scientists who buy science books probably also know that science has lots of facts. Most troubling is that the author's thinking is often non-scientific. For example, there's a chapter on reforming science education. This is a great opportunity to illustrate the main principle he's trying to explain: science is iterative and builds on objective evidence. So you might think he would start by providing an objective definition of successful science education and then reviewing the literature on what works or not. Nope. Instead we get a rambling essay about art and whatnot. But science has lots of facts, remember? And it builds on previous failures, right? Arrgh!! A much better way to understand about "failure" in science is the following book, which describes the decades long process of "discovering" global warming.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian Clegg

    I am a big fan of Stuart Firestein's previous book Ignorance. It does a superb job of demolishing the traditional picture (as seen from outside) of scientific endeavour. As the author makes clear, facts may sometimes be interesting, but the driver behind real science is far more likely to be exploring our delicious areas of ignorance. This meant I had huge expectations for this follow-up title, and it's entirely possible that this anticipation resulted in an unnecessary feeling of being let down I am a big fan of Stuart Firestein's previous book Ignorance. It does a superb job of demolishing the traditional picture (as seen from outside) of scientific endeavour. As the author makes clear, facts may sometimes be interesting, but the driver behind real science is far more likely to be exploring our delicious areas of ignorance. This meant I had huge expectations for this follow-up title, and it's entirely possible that this anticipation resulted in an unnecessary feeling of being let down. But in all honesty I think it was also due to the writing. What Firestein sets out to do is to build up failure as the second parallel pillar to ignorance as a driver of science. Now, there's lots of good stuff in here about the importance of failure to science, and how too much of it is overlooked as it is very valuable, and how Popper was right but also wrong and so on and so forth, but it all seems flung together with little idea of structure and comes across as a failure (see what I did) if you consider the prime role of a book is to communicate effectively. As one example of many, we hear about the importance of failure in the scientific method, but that there isn't really a scientific method, what scientists do is just pootle about, except they don't really, and though they clearly gain from failure they can't be said to learn from failure because that's too like what those horrid business people say. It's all far too woffly and unstructured. That might be intentional, as a metaphor for the nature of science, but if it is, it really gets in the way of providing an effective book. There is also a surreal moment (on page 170 in case you want to dip into a copy and enjoy it), when Firestein lumps genetically modified crops and nuclear energy in with astrology and alternative medicines as 'completely non-scientific practices.' I read this three times and still can't make sense of it. So there is some really interesting material here, and it is probably a must-have for Firestein fans like me, but it is hard work to extract those gems.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pete Wung

    I had read Stuart Firestein’s previous book: Ignorance. It was well written, well argued, and tempered with anger about where the sciences are at this moment in history. It struck a chord with me because the book spoke out fiercely against the prevailing psyche in academia, something that was derived by the need to publish or perish. The author made a very strong point about how this aversion is destroying the fundamentals of research and pursuit of new knowledge as well as compromise the integr I had read Stuart Firestein’s previous book: Ignorance. It was well written, well argued, and tempered with anger about where the sciences are at this moment in history. It struck a chord with me because the book spoke out fiercely against the prevailing psyche in academia, something that was derived by the need to publish or perish. The author made a very strong point about how this aversion is destroying the fundamentals of research and pursuit of new knowledge as well as compromise the integrity of everyone involved in science. Indeed, Prof. Firestein is reiterating his point in this follow up. He expresses the thought that it is an absolute imperative for scientists and technologists to commit to rigorously accepting and examining our failures; he admonishes us to actively seek opportunities to create failures, and he proclaims that it is the failures that will fuel our innovation engines. Prof. Firestein cogently argues in fifteen succinct chapters why we must seek out failures. In those fifteen chapters, he makes the case for taking more chances, and experiencing failure. He is able to layout a very convincing case that not only is failure something from which we need to learn from; indeed, failure is something that we absolutely need to demand of our researchers and scientists in order to make advances in science. He makes his case mostly in the pharmacological and biological world since that is his milieu in the sciences, but the knowledge and the lessons that he provides us are general in nature. The advices are something that could be applied to both applied and pure research and for things that are far broader than just the biological world. In Chapter One, Prof. Firestein lays out the case that we are terrible at defining what failure is because of the negative nature of the word failure. He cites Gertrude Stein’s quote: “A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end of itself.” The quote concisely defines the bad failures, the stupid silly kinds that we all do because we were negligent, and those failures that lead us somewhere interesting. The latter are the ones that we need to talk about, the ones that piques our interest, pushes and allows us to investigate further, ask better questions. Those are the ones that. that reveal surprising questions and/or gives us a chance to re-evaluate our assumptions, understanding, and biases. In Chapter Two, he discusses the meaning of Samuel Beckett’s famous quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.” Prof. Firestein goes into detail on what he thinks Fail Better means and he discusses what he thinks what we should do to Fail Better. This chapter was the one that really hooked me onto this book because I've always been fascinated by Beckett's quote. I hadn't really thought about what failing better meant until I read Prof. Firestein’s arguments. It clarified some of my thoughts on the subject, so kudos to him for allowing me to think about it and leading me to a clear definition of failing better. In Chapters 3 and 8 Prof. Firestein goes after the scientific method. He takes out the scalpel and dissects the whole idea of how we do science, or the official written way we are supposed to do science. His willingness to take on the mythology of the scientific method, which turned him into an apostate to the temple of knowledge that is big science, is encouraging and very courageous. I think coming from somebody like Prof. Firestein, who is a respected researcher and a product of the system, adds weight to the argument and he doesn't disappoint. The two chapters are very forceful, and it shows a lot of very deeply thought out argument against the strawman that is the Scientific Method. Chapters 4 and 5 are his argument on why failure is something that is beyond what we think it is. We usually believe that failure is something that should be ameliorated and something that should lead us to a positive result. His argument is that failure is something much beyond that, much like what Nicholas Taleb’s take about Anti-fragility. Being anti-fragile means something beyond grittiness and resilient, it means more than just being able to survive the bad fortune, it means being able to benefit and thrive when circumstances are against you. In Prof. Firestein’s argument, failure leads to attaining a higher level of understanding of what we're trying to study and it leads us to discovering heretofore unknown dynamics within our knowledge base. It is the negative result which will leads us to better and broader understanding of nature. In Chapter 5 Prof. Firestein goes into a very impassioned argument for the integrity of failure. The integrity of failure means that we are honest with our results, we are committed to intellectual honesty in our work, we are willing to broadcast our failures to our fellow researchers because we are dedicated to the advancement of science over shielding our own fragile egos and reputations. Chapter 6 and 7 are interesting because they go into how we're teaching the future of research and scientific investigations and how we are putting a wrong public face on what scientific research truly entails. The crux of it is that teaching future scientists the scientific method as the means to do research we are handcuffing them to a mythology of what scientific investigation is, which in turn stifles broad questioning of concepts and ideas. In addition, by telling the non-scientific world that the scientific method is the dominant mode of doing research, we are building up a fictional impression in the general public of what scientists do on a daily basis, thereby mythologizing doing science. Chapters 9, 12, 13, and 14 has Prof. Firestein going deep into his own milieu of biological and pharmacological research. The chapters were interesting because I have no background in the area, so I waded in with great interest but with scant background to really dig into what he was trying to get at, I enjoyed it but I’m not sure I got everything that I could have out of it. This failure was all on my part of not understanding. In Chapters 10, 11, and 14, Prof. Firestein really gets going philosophically. It was great reading; it was very interesting reading. He talks about overcoming are negative connotation of what data that does not meet with our hypothesis should mean to us and how we can get over that mental obstacle. In Chapter 11 Prof. Firestein talks about Karl Poppers, a philosopher who worked exclusively in the area of understanding what science is, or how to differentiate between real science and bad science. It was a very educational chapter for me as I have always been interested in Popper's work, yet I have not read Poppers writing. Chapter 14 is where Prof. Firestein goes full force into the philosophical idea of a plurality. Most of us are devoted to a monistic belief, that there is only one single truth in this scientific world and that is just not true. In his dabbling in philosophy Prof. Firestein discovered this and he shares it with us and it was really a Tour de force chapter of writing where he takes you along with his experience in high level research and exploration; to think about what scientific reality is and about what our interpretation of reality is, what our mindset does to our scientific understanding of nature. A monistic scientific culture just doesn't ring true, given what we know now, demonstrating the principle that Prof. Firestein had argued all along: that our understand of the sciences are temporary, it lasts as long as the advent of the next discovery. The pluralistic one is so much more complete. The book itself is a short one; although it is dense with ideas, ideas that we don't usually think about, ideas that we don't usually want to talk about, ideas that challenges our very existence as researchers and scientists. It is a fantastic read because it really does make you think about the meaning of scientific work, it challenges the closely held believe that you have regarding what you are doing. It is very healthy for people to read this; indeed, I believe it should be required reading for anyone who wants to get into the sciences, because it will change your viewpoint completely. I am reading this as an engineer, I am not a scientist so my work is somewhat different because of what my company wants me to work on and what I need to do to get the desired results, which is not strictly the pursuit of pure and unadulterated truth, but it does gives me food for thought and it admonishes me to be honest and truthful when I am confronted with failure, and I can look at failure without fear or shame.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Perspehone

    This book is fantastic! It's clearly well researched, but I also appreciate that it's much more than a scientist writing about something that fascinates him; Dr. Firestein is a wonderful author, and I think he could still make a great book even if focusing on a mediocre topic. However, what makes the book really good isn't just his writing, but the fact that the topic is anything but unimportant. It's a fascinating journey about how the contributions of failure (including accidents, ignorant the This book is fantastic! It's clearly well researched, but I also appreciate that it's much more than a scientist writing about something that fascinates him; Dr. Firestein is a wonderful author, and I think he could still make a great book even if focusing on a mediocre topic. However, what makes the book really good isn't just his writing, but the fact that the topic is anything but unimportant. It's a fascinating journey about how the contributions of failure (including accidents, ignorant theorizing, and plain "bad" luck") have helped advanced our understanding and knowledge of the laws of science. You also don't have to be a scientist to appreciate the stories and rabbit holes of history the book follows. I think it would be an interesting read for just about anyone. Definitely thought-provoking as well as entertaining. Disclaimer: I received this book in a Goodreads giveway for promotional purposes, but this didn't consciously influence my review to any degree.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shreyas

    very good, a bit abstract and intense.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hind

    Not particularly profound, but a good book on science nonetheless. There aren’t many books that talk about the process of science.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angie Reisetter

    Firestein makes the point that, while failure's essential role in science advancement is obvious to scientists, it is not known to the general public. So he's set out to remedy that. He makes a very good point. And then in the pursuit of a neat picture, he over-simplifies things here and there, but I can forgive him for that. Firestein's previous book, on how ignorance drives science (title: Ignorance), was more directed at explaining science as a process to the general public. While that is his Firestein makes the point that, while failure's essential role in science advancement is obvious to scientists, it is not known to the general public. So he's set out to remedy that. He makes a very good point. And then in the pursuit of a neat picture, he over-simplifies things here and there, but I can forgive him for that. Firestein's previous book, on how ignorance drives science (title: Ignorance), was more directed at explaining science as a process to the general public. While that is his stated audience for this one as well, I felt that it would be much more useful for students of science, teachers, and practitioners of science. There's whole chapter on what's wrong with science funding these days, and while I found that great as a scientist, I can't imagine many members of the general public are going to get excited about it. So here's my advice: read it. If the current chapter you're on doesn't thrill you, move on to the next. The chapters are independent of each other, sort of mini-essays, variations on the theme of failure in science. It is not an argument that builds cumulatively. I really like Firestein's approach to science and explaining it, and I'd recommend it to most people I know even remotely interested in science. I got a free copy of this from Net Galley.

  8. 4 out of 5

    J Earl

    Stuart Firestein's follow-up to Ignorance, Failure, is a worthy sequel. They work together well in that one addresses, for the most part, the curiosity that comes from acknowledging one's ignorance and seeking to find answers while the other addresses the need to keep that curiosity alive through the many failures one will sustain while seeking more and better answers. I saw a comment from another reviewer I think bears repeating, these chapters are essentially separate essays, so if the topic of Stuart Firestein's follow-up to Ignorance, Failure, is a worthy sequel. They work together well in that one addresses, for the most part, the curiosity that comes from acknowledging one's ignorance and seeking to find answers while the other addresses the need to keep that curiosity alive through the many failures one will sustain while seeking more and better answers. I saw a comment from another reviewer I think bears repeating, these chapters are essentially separate essays, so if the topic of one does not strike a chord with you, feel free to go to the next chapter. While the general application in this volume has to do with science, there is a lot to learn here that will help in other areas of life and intellectual pursuit. That said, this book is still primarily to make scientific study and advancement more understandable to non-scientists. On that note Firestein rings clearly. I would recommend this to those who enjoy learning about the process of science as well as the actual advances of science. This is both accessible and engaging so should appeal to a wide range of readers. Reviewed from an ARC made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aykut Karabay

    Her şeyi bildiğini iddia eden dogmatik bütün ideolojilerin aksine, Bilim insanının (veya her insanın kendi yaşamında diyebiliriz) Sabırlı, tutkusunu kaybetmeden, tekrar tekrar hatalardan, yenilgilerden, başarısızlıklardan dersler çıkararak ilerlemesi gerektiğini, bilimin tek yönteminin bu olduğunu vurguluyor. Bilim tarihinin büyük dehalarının (Newton, Einstein, Darwin...) sanki hiç yanılmadan, başarısızlık yaşamadan, yaşadıkları aydınlanma ile her şeyi bilen insanlar olarak dayatılmasına karşı b Her şeyi bildiğini iddia eden dogmatik bütün ideolojilerin aksine, Bilim insanının (veya her insanın kendi yaşamında diyebiliriz) Sabırlı, tutkusunu kaybetmeden, tekrar tekrar hatalardan, yenilgilerden, başarısızlıklardan dersler çıkararak ilerlemesi gerektiğini, bilimin tek yönteminin bu olduğunu vurguluyor. Bilim tarihinin büyük dehalarının (Newton, Einstein, Darwin...) sanki hiç yanılmadan, başarısızlık yaşamadan, yaşadıkları aydınlanma ile her şeyi bilen insanlar olarak dayatılmasına karşı bir manifesto bir nevi. Onlarında defalarca hatalı yollardan, bir çok başarısızlıktan sonra kuramlarını geliştirdiklerini; Bilimin yönteminin bu olduğunu bilim tarihinden örneklerle anlatıyor. Güzel bir bilimsel düşünme yöntemi kitabı. Kısa, kolay ve rahat okunuyor. Tavsiye ederim.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rocky Locky

    2.5 stars. It was an ok experience. listened to the audiobook. I wanted to listen to "ignorance" but chose this one as it is what was available from my audiobook service. I liked watching a few of his Ted Talks and so I thought the book would be good. It's a very casual conversation, and I'm not sure if I have any takeaways from the book. I think the topic has great potential, and I look forward to learning where he's taken this conversation. So I'm glad he's exploring this topic, I'm just not sure t 2.5 stars. It was an ok experience. listened to the audiobook. I wanted to listen to "ignorance" but chose this one as it is what was available from my audiobook service. I liked watching a few of his Ted Talks and so I thought the book would be good. It's a very casual conversation, and I'm not sure if I have any takeaways from the book. I think the topic has great potential, and I look forward to learning where he's taken this conversation. So I'm glad he's exploring this topic, I'm just not sure this was his final take on failure.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Becky Thublin

    I'm a first year PhD student studying crayfish parasites. This book was a great reminder for me that sometimes things get messed up. You fail. Data are insignificant. Organisms die for no apparent reason. But, in the end, you can still be a successful scientist. I'm a first year PhD student studying crayfish parasites. This book was a great reminder for me that sometimes things get messed up. You fail. Data are insignificant. Organisms die for no apparent reason. But, in the end, you can still be a successful scientist.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hotrats

    A little difficult to get through but worth reading. I came away with a better understanding of how science really works and how important failure is.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Missie

    More home runs in the first more than the last half but a worthwhile read

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stef

    it was ok, some interesting thoughts about failure but not well presented adn not well organised.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon Miner

    Took me much to long to get through, but Failure gives a great history and argument for how failing is what makes Science and academia in general great. Chock full of great detail and examples.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    What a fun and interesting book. Firestein, a biologist by training and professor of biology with experience in the history and philosophy of science, investigates and argues persuasively that science, and progress in science, is a messier and less-certain endeavor that most people believe. Furthermore, he shows that progress is driven by slow and continual failure just as much as through instants of profound insight, or through serendipities accidents. As such, science is really advanced by rep What a fun and interesting book. Firestein, a biologist by training and professor of biology with experience in the history and philosophy of science, investigates and argues persuasively that science, and progress in science, is a messier and less-certain endeavor that most people believe. Furthermore, he shows that progress is driven by slow and continual failure just as much as through instants of profound insight, or through serendipities accidents. As such, science is really advanced by repeated failure, and that this truth should be recognized, accepted, and embraced. Firestein asserts that science education should not be merely “a memorization marathon,” and that science is not a body of infallible work, of immutable laws and facts. Rather, the work of science grows in “the mulch of puzzlement and of bewilderment, of skepticism and experiment.” A much needed clarity, I should think. He lists these insights he learned about science while in graduate school: • Questions are more important than facts • Answer or facts are temporary, data, hypotheses(models) are provisional • Failure happens...a lot • Patience is a requirement; there is no substitute for time • Occasionally you get lucky – hopefully you recognize it • Things don’t happen in the linear or narrative way that you read about in papers or textbooks • The smooth Arc of Discovery is a myth; science stumbles along • If there is free food, get their early There are very many lessons to learn and insights to be remembered from this book. My early objections, including that Firestein does not differentiate between failure in the scientific fields from failure in other fields, nor a discussion of objective versus subjective notions of failure, were mitigated by later chapters where his conception of failure is qualified. In these later chapters, he finally address the philosophical aspects of the scientific method, along with discussing Karl Popper and falsifiability, Isaiah Berlin’s “value pluralism” (as a contrast to relativism or subjectivism) and Berlin’s mental ordering of “hedgehogs” (who know one big thing) and “foxes” (who know lots of little things), and also calls Sir Francis Bacon an “empiricist” rather than a philosopher. Well, OK, scientists do not like to bow to philosophers, I understand. To me, a non-scientist lawyer with many friends in the STEM fields, and with a history of reading and enjoying philosophy, these were the most stimulating and enjoyable chapters. However, the book did seem to have a quality of being less-than-finished, which he admits, as the chapters take on discrete topics (like science funding, science education, and pharmaceutical funding and failure), and then offer a perfunctory conclusion. In sum, this is certainly a much-needed and illuminating milestone along his development as a public face of science, and would benefit both scientists and those who work with them.

  17. 5 out of 5

    JG

    This is a Great book and I'm pretty sure my review won't do it justice. What is this book about? Is about the making of science, about the long, painful and sometimes contradictory history of trial and error in science before we called her science. It's about the need and requirement of failure and enough leeway so we can stumble into unexpected results and inquire more about them. Science must walk not just the most traveled road, but also the less traveled one. And sometimes walk back and inve This is a Great book and I'm pretty sure my review won't do it justice. What is this book about? Is about the making of science, about the long, painful and sometimes contradictory history of trial and error in science before we called her science. It's about the need and requirement of failure and enough leeway so we can stumble into unexpected results and inquire more about them. Science must walk not just the most traveled road, but also the less traveled one. And sometimes walk back and invent a new road. Science is not perfect and it's not about concise and exact answers to every problem. Science cannot vanish risks or make uncertainty go away. Thus, Science must be allowed to fail. We should even encourage it. Great and easy read

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brooks

    Ignorance was a better book. Failure suffers from the fact that Firestein never comes down with a clear definition of the thing that he's writing about. Once again there are thought provoking ideas and a few great passages that I will come back to. But overall this was a less complete idea than its predecessor. Ignorance was a better book. Failure suffers from the fact that Firestein never comes down with a clear definition of the thing that he's writing about. Once again there are thought provoking ideas and a few great passages that I will come back to. But overall this was a less complete idea than its predecessor.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ian Rose

    It isn't perfect (could use an edit and a better Kindle formatter, among some other qualms) but it was thought provoking enough to be more than worth the read. It's a very good defense of pluralism in general, not just in science but everywhere in human life, but has some very interesting things to say about the practice of modern science too. It isn't perfect (could use an edit and a better Kindle formatter, among some other qualms) but it was thought provoking enough to be more than worth the read. It's a very good defense of pluralism in general, not just in science but everywhere in human life, but has some very interesting things to say about the practice of modern science too.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    A very interesting book about science and how integral failure is to the process. It was interesting even to a layman like myself and I recommend reading it to anybody who wants to expand their knowledge on science and how failure can be a good thing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ieva

    "In science failures are as informative as successes, sometimes more so, and, of course, sometimes less so. Failures may be disappointing at first, but successes that lead nowhere new are short-lived pleasures." "In science failures are as informative as successes, sometimes more so, and, of course, sometimes less so. Failures may be disappointing at first, but successes that lead nowhere new are short-lived pleasures."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pete Welter

    Reviewed this along with Ignorance: How it drives science in Ignorance review. Reviewed this along with Ignorance: How it drives science in Ignorance review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane Henry

    a bit of a dry read, and less engaging than his previous book, Ignorance, but still thought-provoking and interesting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Virgo Siil

    Hea mitmekülgne lähenemine ebaõnnestumistele (valdavalt teaduses, aga ka mujal) ja selle tähtsusele, lausa kasulikkusele, samuti sellest rääkimise vajadusele. Lobeda jutuga ja hästi näitlikustatud.

  25. 4 out of 5

    SG Library

    november 2015

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I was so excited when I won this on Goodreads. And I was mostly not disappointed. I found I could not read it while there was distractions. Other than that I liked it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Athena Southern

    Just got notifications that I won this bad boy. Super excited, the reviews were great. Will post a review soon as she's in my hands and read her. So excited Just got notifications that I won this bad boy. Super excited, the reviews were great. Will post a review soon as she's in my hands and read her. So excited

  28. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Dunnington

    Pro-scientific--- He still acknowledges how non-linear the process and scientific progress is.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynsey Lauderdale

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