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The importance of failure in science

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Friday Roundtable
MPR News' Friday Roundtable
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Failure is essential to science, though it's not very well understood outside of the field. 

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the troubled Apollo 13 mission returning safely to Earth. With NPR science correspondent Joe Palca visiting the Twin Cities this week, we put together a panel of science experts to talk about the role of mistakes, setbacks and outright failures in the scientific process.

Frank Bates, regents professor and head of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, talked about the challenge of college that expects perfection from students and doesn't allow failure as a method of learning: