What do we learn from failure? What happens when our dogma — whether scientific or religious — turns out to be wrong? Is sin a “moral failure,” or can failure be a saving grace?

These are the kinds of questions that drive Professor Stuart Firestein. Professor Firestein is the former chair of the Columbia University Department of Biological Science, and author of the books Failure: Why Science is So Successful and Ignorance: How It Drives Sciencewhich became a TED talk in 2013. He also has presented for Sinai and Synapses on questions on failure, ignorance and doubt.

Recently, Professor Firestein joined Sinai and Synapses Fellow Tom Wassink on his podcast “Blue Ocean World” to explore questions of failure from both a religious and a scientific perspective. Tom is on the leadership team for a group of churches called Blue Ocean Faith who seek to help people connect with God in a secularizing world. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, as well as a staff pastor of Sanctuary Community Church of Iowa City.

Take a listen to this podcast, and ask yourself, “Can you fail better?”