Failure in Science
Thomas J. Watson is attributed with saying "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate". Wired Magazine editor Kevin Kelly likewise explains that a great deal can be learned from things going unexpectedly, and that part of science's success comes from keeping blunders "small, manageable, constant, and trackable". He uses the example of engineers and programmers who push systems to their limits, breaking them to learn about them. Kelly also warns against creating a culture (e.g. school system) that punishes failure harshly, because this inhibits a creative process, and risks teaching people not to communicate important failures with others (e.g. Null results).
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Famous quotes containing the words failure and/or science:
“He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers,it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“Our science has become terrible, our research dangerous, our findings deadly. We physicists have to make peace with reality. Reality is not as strong as we are. We will ruin reality.”
—Friedrich Dürrenmatt (19211990)