Try, try again
Stuart Firestein explains scientific thinking and process for the nonspecialist in Failure: Why Science Is So Successful (Oxford University Press, $21.95). Concentrating on the difference between the way that most of us define failure. Firestein makes clear that failure is an expected part of the scientific process, so integral that without failure, science wouldn't work. Negative results are still results, as any scientist knows. It functions as a checks-and-balances system, and unlike the one our government uses, it actually works.