22 April, 2016

Failure: why science is so successful by Stuart Firestein

Failure: why science is so successful is the second book by noted biological scientist Stuart Firestein. In this book Firestein aims to de-mythologise the idealised scientific process that is often perceived by the public and explain what he sees as the true cause of sciences’ unprecedented success: failure.

Failure is not something that people automatically associate with the notion of science. With companies and governments pumping large fortunes into science in all its forms it seems if anything 'success' would be a term more appropriate or at least desired by the scientific community.

Failure: why science is so successful is quite happy to drop cold water on that notion and Firestein happily explains why in this book. He advocates with numerous examples for the messy, hit-and-miss progressive nature of science as opposed to the methodical means (scientific method) that is taught in schools.

As well as this Firestein is not afraid to take aim at corporate funding and science education and following Firestein can be as entertaining, as it is informative. Another positive is the tone of the book where science is relayed in a very easy to digest format. It's short too! Highly recommended.

Failure reads more like a set of essays compared to his previous book, Ignorance: why it drives science, though it is not necessary to get Ignorance to understand Failure (ho ho ho). I thoroughly enjoyed both, so check them out and see how science is less “Eureka!” And more “Oh, I didn’t expect that.”

Title: Failure: why science is so successful
Author: Stuart Firestein

Recommended by James W Māngere Bridge Library

James W is goin down, 2 alphabet street!  He's gonna crown, the first gir... :) . James once dreamt of being a scientist. Twice in fact! In the same week no less! He tends not to eat too much pizza so close to bedtime these days.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kia ora! Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.