“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” If this quote doesn’t sum up fisheries science, I don’t know what does. Traditionally the scientific method tells us to test our hypothesis and communicate the results regardless of the outcome. This can be easier said than done and often overlooked when a project doesn’t go as planned. Success in science is often expressed as publishable results although most projects don’t get that far. This symposium will provide examples from fish scientists demonstrating how unintended outcomes, that were originally perceived as failures, ultimately turned out to be pathways to progress, learning, and understanding. This interactive symposium will encourage audience participation in the forms of questions, feedback and suggestions for future work. Shifting the idea of what makes science “successful” or “presentable” will help grow our field and encourage fisheries students and fisheries scientists to fail successfully.

Supported by:

  • Fisheries Information and Technology Section