Scientists and officials are increasingly embracing so-called "high-risk" research in which a lot of research will fail but a few projects could lead to big gains. We'll interview economist and author Tim Harford about the role of failure in scientific progress, and how to encourage more blue-sky research in science. Chemist Seth Snyder is a recipient of funding from ARPA-E, the new U.S. energy research agency, and he'll talk about the importance of risky research in practice.
Join us for a live chat with researchers at 3 p.m. EDT on 2 June 2011 on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
Chemist Seth Snyder is the leader of Process Technology Research at Argonne National Laboratory, a cross-cutting R&D program in energy and the environment. He serves as the relationship manager to the Department of Energy's Biomass Program and as the president of the Council for Chemical Research. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in biophysics, a B.A. in chemistry and environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and early career experience in pharmaceutical discovery research.
Tim Harford is a senior columnist for the Financial Times and author of the new book Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure. His column, "The Undercover Economist," reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences.