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God? Destiny? Luck? Chance? Serendipity? Scientists To Test Mysterious Phenomenon

Just how important is serendipity to science? Scientists debating with policymakers have long relied on anecdotal evidence. Studies rarely try to quantify how much scientific progress was truly serendipitous, how much that cost or the circumstances in which it emerged. Serendipity can take on many forms, and its unwieldy web of cause and effect is difficult to constrain. Data are not available to track it in any meaningful way. Instead, academic research has focused on serendipity in science as a philosophical concept. The European Research Council aims to change that. It has given biochemist-turned-social-scientist Ohid Yaqub a sizeable €1.4-million (US$1.7-million) grant to gather evidence on the role of serendipity in science. Yaqub argues that he has found a way to do so. (READ MORE)


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