, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 77-104

Suppression of scientific research: Bahramdipity and Nulltiple scientific discoveries

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Abstract

The fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip can be taken to be allegorical of not only chance discovery (serendipity) but of other aspects of scientific discovery as well. Just as Horace Walpole coined serendipity, so can the term bahramdipity be derived from the tale and defined as the cruel suppression of a serendipitous discovery. Suppressed, unpublished discoveries are designated nulltiples. Several examples are presented to make the case that bahramdipity is an existent aspect of scientific discovery. Other examples of non-ideal scientific research and discovery are provided in order to contrast and clarify the meaning and use of bahramdipity. Additional allegories of scientific discovery are taken from the tale and a hope for the strengthening of scientific integrity is expressed.