Fayerweather Hall (Room 513), Columbia University, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York
While research, discovery and knowledge arrive as the outcomes of social structures intended for these purposes, many researchers observe that a significant proportion of their discoveries, ideas and achievements are the direct or indirect result of a series of chance events and encounters that occur outside of any describable formal structure. As expressed by Paul Feyerabend in 1975, the maxim "Anything goes" is not a prescriptive exhortation but rather a simple factual observation -- with ample evidentiary support -- of the way science often proceeds.
This mini-conference explores the concepts of 'serendipity' and 'epiphany' within scientific research through an open discourse with a group of scholars from Columbia University and beyond. A group of sympathetic and interested researchers will gather to discuss and present stories, ideas, and explorations that may lead to a wider conversation around these topics. Importantly, a goal for this mini-conference is not to instrumentalize the concepts of serendipity and epiphany, but rather to simply think about them and the conditions that allow them to flourish.
Hosted by the Center for Science and Society and supported by a 2019 Seed Grant.
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