Failure and Persistence

Failure and Persistence

Failure and the ability to persist are essential to succeeding in a scientific endeavor. Watch leading scientists discuss the lessons they learned from failed experiments and their continued perseverance to achieve a scientific breakthrough.


5 - 12


Anthropology, Biology, Earth Science, Engineering, Geography, Mathematics, Physics

Read more about the featured scientists (in order of appearance):

Aaron Mandell, Co-founder, and Chairman, WaterFX - Aaron Mandell has co-founded six companies at the nexus of energy and water, including Altarock, WaterFX, Quidnet, Oasys Water, Coskata, and GreatPoint. Through his leadership, this portfolio is advancing new products in fields such as enhanced geothermal energy, solar water treatment, desalination, energy storage, coal gasification" data-wsc-lang="en_US">gasification, and alternative chemicals.

Sandra Postel, Director, Global Water Policy Project - Sandra Postel directs the independent Global Water Policy Project, and lectures, writes and consults on global water issues. In 2010 she was appointed Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, where she serves as the Society’s lead freshwater expert. Sandra is co-creator of Change the Course, the national freshwater conservation and restoration campaign being pioneered by National Geographic and its partners and piloted in the Colorado River Basin.

Dr. Maria Croyle, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutics, The University of Texas at Austin - Dr. Croyle recently developed a needle-free vaccine for the Ebola virus that has been proven 100% effective in primates. Her expertise has been recognized at the national and international levels as she has served as a scientific advisor for over 14 biotech companies located in the United States and Europe.

Laura Deming, Partner, The Longevity Fund - Laura Deming began lab work at UCSF at 12, went to MIT at 14, and at 17 received a Thiel Fellowship and started a business. Currently, she is one of the youngest venture capitalists in the industry, running The Longevity Fund, with a portfolio of companies dedicated to tackling aging and age-related diseases.

Dr. Brian Kennedy. President & CEO, Buck Institute for Research on Aging - Dr. Brian Kennedy is internationally recognized for his research in the basic biology of aging and as a visionary committed to translating research discoveries into new ways of delaying, detecting, preventing and treating age-related conditions. These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, cancer, stroke, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease among others.

Trish Aekler, Program Manager, Exoskeleton Technologies, Lockheed Martin - Trish Aelker is the program manager for Exoskeleton Technologies at Lockheed Martin. Aelker helped to develop Lockheed’s FORTIS technology – an exoskeleton suit that allows laborers to operate heavy machinery for long periods of time. Aelker has over 15 years of experience working Department of Defense programs.

Media Credits

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Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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