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Failure, knowledge of unknown both needed for success, scientist says
The Daily Progress Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Sometimes science is about investigating a particular question or looking for the solution to a puzzling problem. Sometimes it’s a shot in the dark.
The 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book kicked off Wednesday with the Leadership Breakfast with science writer Stuart Firestein, chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. Firestein, the author of “Ignorance: How it Drives Science” and “Failure: Why Science is So Successful,” spoke about the misconceptions surrounding the scientific method and how scientists actually do science.
Speaking about the importance that failure and ignorance play in the success of scientific experiments, Firestein emphasized that failure is often a more efficient measure of success than just looking for results that support a hypothesis.

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