Failure: Why Science is So Successful

Success takes failure.

Those who practice science know that research is full of wrong turns, cul-de-sacs, mistaken identities, false findings, errors of fact and judgement, and only the occasional success. Come hear Stuart Firestein, scientist and acclaimed author of the highly praised Ignorance, as he talks about his new book, Failure: Why Science is So Successful.

Firestein argues that the view that science is infallible originates in an education system that teaches us nothing but facts, and is a view proliferated by media who report on discoveries–but almost never on process. He shows us that scientific enterprise is, and should be, riddled with failures. His talk, and his book, will give the non-scientifically trained public an insider’s view of how science is actually done, with the aim of making it accessible, comprehensible, and entertaining.

Stuart Firestein teaches Neuroscience at Columbia University, where his laboratory investigates the mysteries of the mammalian olfactory system, the sense of smell. He has published more than 100 papers in scientific and scholarly journals, and is the author of Ignorance: How it Drives Science. He was Chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences from 2010-2013. Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience, he serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science. He is based in New York, NY.

This program is supported by a grant from TheChicago Community Trust and is presented in partnership withChicago Tech Academy High School.

DETAILS: Wednesday,October 21st, Chicago Tech Academy High School, 1301 W. 14th St., Chicago, IL, 60611. Free parking is available in school parking lot adjacent to high school. Doors open at 5:00 pm, program begins 6:00 pm. Copies of Firestein’s latest book, Failure, will be available for purchase for $15; author will be signing books immediately following the program. This program is FREE and open to the public.

Register at

Can’t join us live? Then join us via live stream, or watch the program at your leisure at a later date on our YouTube channel, C2ST TV. Streaming starts at 6pm

Questions? Contact Andrea Poet at or 312-567-5795.

ABOUT C2ST: Chicago Council on Science and Technology is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that brings researchers and scientists out of the lab, directly to you. We work with national laboratories, leading academic institutions and museums to educate the public on issues of critical scientific importance. In an age when barely one in four voting adults meet a basic level of scientific literacy, we aim to reignite an excitement and passion for science and technology, and remind Chicagoans of the quality and quantity of R&D that takes place in their backyard

Leave a Reply