Thomas Levenson of MIT shares his thoughts about basic science research and why failure is necessary to building knowledge.
“The settled knowledge captured in textbooks emerges from a process that cannot be fully planned or managed. Science is a set of ways of thinking and acting through which, sometimes, results emerge. Failure, “wasted” time, is intrinsic to that process. It’s impossible to do science without a tolerance for uncertainty over the years or decades it can take to reveal what many discoveries actually mean.”