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Oops! The 5 Greatest Scientific Blunders

Clara Moskowitz
Published: May 28, 2013

Big Failures Lead to Big Discoveries

Simon & Schuster/STScI

Astrophysicist Mario Livio is the author of the new book "Brilliant Blunders."

Even geniuses make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes turn out to be genius in their own right, helping to illuminate some underlying mystery or impacting the way an entire field thinks.

In celebration of happy accidents and enlightening errors, astrophysicist Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., tells the stories of five great scientific mistakes in his new book "Brilliant Blunders" (Simon & Schuster, May 14, 2013). These stories serve to show how even the smartest among us can err, and that in fact to achieve a big breakthrough, big risks are necessary, which sometimes also involve big failures.

Below are Livio's choices for the most brilliant scientific blunders. [Oops! 5 Retracted Science Studies]


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