I find it quite interesting that Chinese legislators are now beginning to recognize the inherent value in failure. I've had more than one scientist tell me that there is no such thing as "failure" in the scientific method. Every experiment, whether successful or not, is an opportunity to learn something new.
Chinese scientists given freedom to fail
Research, especially within the pharmaceutical industry, is as dependent on failure as it is on success. Far more potential drugs fail than succeed and for each one that is left by the wayside, lessons can be learned to improve the chances of another molecule making it to market.
However, there is currently a great deal of pressure on Chinese scientists to only report successes and the science and technology minister, Wan Gang, is said to have told lawmakers that this is hampering innovation by preventing researchers taking risks.
"It's difficult to make achievements in independent innovation if the scientific research departments and scientists don't tolerate failure," Bai Chunli, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), was quoted as saying.
There have also been several cases where scientists have falsified or stolen results - something academics blame on the highly pressurised research environment.