Understanding Failure

May 3, 2012


Duke University professor Henry Petroski is fascinated by disasters. He believes tragedies can also serve as valuable learning experiences. In his new book, "To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure" (Belknap Press/2012),

Petroski looks at catastrophes like the sinking of the Titanic and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and explains why human error – not engineering flaws – led to such disasters. Host Frank Stasio talks to Petroski, a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Duke, about how we can better understand and avoid failure.