Roads to Knowledge

  • Peter Shaver


The broad historical overview given in the last chapter of many of the scientists and their achievements provides an opportunity to take an orthogonal approach and look at the variety of ways in which the individual scientists actually did their work and achieved their great results. Were they alone or in groups? Was it pure inspiration and creativity, or dogged slogging to collect data and forge hypotheses? Did they know what to look for, or did they stumble onto discoveries? Were they just in the right place at the right time? The roads to knowledge are not always as neat and tidy as the classical textbook scientific method would suggest.

Further Reading

  1. Jones BF, Reedy EJ, Weinberg BA (2014) Age and Scientific Genius. In The Wiley Handbook of Genius (ed. Simonton DK), pp. 422-450, Wiley-BlackwellGoogle Scholar
  2. Kellermann K, Sheets B (1983) Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, West Virginia, USAGoogle Scholar
  3. Meyers MA (2011) Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Major Medical Breakthroughs in the Twentieth Century. Arcade Publishing, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Roberts RM (1989) Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey, USAGoogle Scholar
  5. Winters RW (2016) Accidental Medical Discoveries: How Tenacity and Pure Dumb Luck Changed the World. Skyhorse Publ., New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Shaver
    • 1
  1. 1.SydneyAustralia

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