Science Gets Lucky

As it turns out, we're in excellent company. Luck isn't just for search engines and paper products—many if not most of the giant leaps forward in science are rooted in accident and only seem obvious after the fact.

You might think that science would be hostile to anything as seemingly impenetrable as luck. “It is never entirely in fashion to mention luck in the same breath as science,” as Dr. Austin wrote in his book on the subject. If we can't measure it or even agree on basic definitions, how can it possibly be science? It may be surprising, then, that luck, this most slippery of ideas, has been treated with great interest and even academic rigor, not just by Dr. Austin but by many of the world's brightest scientific minds. ...

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