Science Gallery celebrates importance of failures

Thursday 06 February 2014 15.33
Perhaps the world's worst invention - a device to assist with childbirth using centrifugal force
Perhaps the world's worst invention - a device to assist with childbirth using centrifugal force

The wheelchair used by the late actor Christopher Reeve prior to his death and boots worn by Ranulph Fiennes on his first failed attempt to scale Mount Everest are among the exhibits at the Science Gallery's new exhibition Fail Better.

The goal of the exhibition, according to its curators, is to open up a debate on the essential role of failure in human creativity.

The organisers have brought together 20 objects related to failure, which were selected by a range of well-known individuals.

Athlete Sonia O'Sullivan provided her security badges from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where she failed to finish the 5000m race that she was expected to win.

Also on display is the NeoNurture - a neo-natal incubator made from cheap readily available sourced parts, which could have proven a massive success in the developing world, but failed to take-off because of the way it looked.

The exhibition also includes original manuscripts from Samuel Beckett's Worstward Ho, which featured the phrase, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."

Mark Pollock, the adventure athlete and pioneer of spinal injury recovery treatment, chose the original wheelchair that belonged to the late actor Christopher Reeve who died in 2004 from complications related to his paralysis.

According to Mr Pollock, although Christopher Reeve died having failed to realise his ambition to walk again, he left a strong legacy and motivation to others to continue his work.

Perhaps the most unusual exhibit is the first ever full-scale reconstruction of what's often described as the world's worst invention - a device to assist with childbirth using centrifugal force.

Fail Better opens tomorrow and runs until the end of April.

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