Serendipity in Science

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Penicillin, Alexander Fleming, Serendipity
  • Pages : 31 (10140 words )
  • Download(s) : 284
  • Published : October 26, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Serendipity – Accidental Discoveries in Science

ABSTRACT

Serendipity means the faculty of making fortunate and unexpected discoveries by accidents. Penicillin, X-ray, Viagra, Teflon are common examples known as accidental discoveries in science. The stories of these discoveries are interesting and meaningful. X-ray for medical diagnosis and treatment, miracle drug penicillin, Viagra for treatment of erectile dysfunction, Teflon for frying pans, all of these discoveries make our life wonderful. Most of people who have been blessed by serendipity are not reluctant to admit their good fortunate, but serendipity does not diminish the credit due them for making the discovery. Famous Scientist Pasteur and Nobel laureate Paul Flory described serendipity as discoveries made by “by accident and sagacity”. They expressed it “In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.” The importance of the study is how to turn accidents become discoveries. Cases of serendipity in science technology are presented in this thesis.

Content
Declaration……………………………………………………………………………i Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………ii Acknowledgements ………………………………………………………………….iii Table of Contents ……………………………………………………………………iv Chapter 1 - Introduction

1) Definition of Serendipity in science…………………………………………P.6 2) The main aim of the dissertation…………………………………………….P.7 3) A story summary of the context of the study………………………………..P.8 Chapter 2 - Story of Viagra

2.1.) Background information……………………………………………………….P.9 2.2) Biography of inventor or discoverer……………………………………..……P.10 2.3) How it is accidentally discovered……………………………………………...P.12 2.4) Evidence and working mechanism…………………………………………….P.14 2.5) Effect and influence of the discovery …………………………………………P.15 Chapter 3 - Story of post-it notes

3.1.) Background information……………………………………………………...P.17 3.2) Biography of inventor or discoverer ……………………………………….…P.17 3.3) How it is accidentally discovered……………………………………………..P.18 3.4) Evidence and working mechanism………………………………………..…P.20 3.5) Effect and influence of the discovery ……………………………………….P.22 Chapter 4 - Story of Teflon

4.1.) Background information………………………………………………….....P.23 4.2) Biography of inventor or discoverer………………………………………....P. 24 4.3) How it is accidentally discovered……………………………………………P.25 4.4) Evidence and working mechanism…………………………………………..P.27 4.5) Effect and influence of the discovery………………………………………...P.29 Chapter 5 - Story of Penicillin

5.1.) Background information……………………………………………….…...P.29 5.2) Biography of inventor or discoverer………………………………….…..…P.30 5.3) How it is accidentally discovered………………………………………..….P.32 5.4) Evidence and working mechanism………………………………….…..…..P.34 5.5) Effect and influence of the discovery………………………………….…….P.38 Chapter 6 - Impact of consequence of serendipity

6.1) Significance of Serendipity to science…………………………………….…P.40 6.2) Chance favors only the prepared mind………………………………………P. 41 6.3) New scientific methods and ideas……………………………………………P.43 Chapter 7 – Summary and future forcast

7.1) Summary and conclusion ……………………………………………………..P.44 7.2) Future forcast………………………………………………………………….P.47 Reference………………………………………………………………….………….v Appendix …………………………………………………………………………….vi

Chapter 1 – Introduction

1. ) Definition of Serendipity in Science
The term “serendipity” was coined by Horace Walpole. In a letter written to Horace Mann in January 1754 he says that he formed this term following his reading of a “silly fairy tale” called “The Three Princes of Serendip” (Serendip is an ancient name for Ceylon or Sri Lanka). The three heroes of this tale were always making discoveries by accidents and sagacity.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term was “the faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident”. The Dictionary adds, however, the following sharper definition: looking for one thing and finding another. The latter definition refers to cases where one looks for A and finds...
tracking img