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Word Count: 869
Serendipity Serendipity by definition means the faculty of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for Websters 1074 In other words serendipity means discovering things by accident The word serendipity was coined by English writer connoisseur and collector Horace Walpole in a letter to his friend Sir Horace Mann in 1754 Walpole was impressed about a story he read about the adventures of The Three Princes of Seredip who were always making discoveries by accident and sagacity of things which they were not in quest ofWalpole ix Walpole used the term to describe some of his own accidental discovery The word itself was then rediscovered and was used with increasing frequency Most of the people who were blessed with serendipity are not reluctant to admit their good fortune Far from being defensive about the role that chance played in their discoveries they are usually eager to describe it They realize that serendipity does not diminish the credit given to them for making the discovery Louis Pasteur who made breakthrough discoveries in chemistry microbiology and medicine recognized this and expressed it succinctly In the field of observation chance only favors the prepared mindPasteur 777 Nobel laureate Paul Flory upon receiving the Perkin medal the highest honor given by the American Chemical Society stated Significant inventions are not mere accidents The erroneous view that they areis widely held and it is one that scientific and technical community unfortunately has done little to dispel Happenstance usually plays a part to be sure but there is much more to invention than the popular notion that the bolt out of the blue Knowledge in depth and in breadth are virtual prerequisites Unless the mind is thoroughly charged beforehand the proverbial spark of genius if it should manifest itself probably will find nothing to igniteFlory x These statements by Pasteur and Flory show that they understood what Walpole meant when he
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