Scientific Anthology: How Hobbies Affect Scientific Exploration

Introduction

As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” What they don’t tell you is that it also makes Jack less likely to succeed at work. In the next fifteen examples, you will see the value of play–hobbies–in addition to work, specifically scientific exploration. In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson reports how hobbies have benefited the scientific community through many generations.

 

“Legendary innovators like Franklin, Snow, and Darwin all possess some common intellectual qualities—a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity—but they also share one other defining attribute. They have a lot of hobbies” (Johnson, 172).

The innovative power that comes from balancing work and play–career and hobbies–has always been present in scientific exploration. This anthology will describe how that power is still at work today.

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Scientific Anthology: How Hobbies Affect Scientific Exploration

Scientific Anthology: Serendipity

Introduction

Serendipity is defined as “luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.” (1)

This anthology provides examples of scientific serendipity. This will introduce a number of scientists, inventions, and theories that all came about because of serendipity. This theme was clear throughout the books that we read during the semester and we wanted to prove that serendipity really exists in the scientific community as well as the world around us.

  1. (n.d.). Retrieved May 09, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serendipity
Scientific Anthology: Serendipity

Uses of Benzene

Danger-Benzene

We began discussing the structure of Benzene in class. Organic chemistry is the study of carbon which a fundamental part of drawing structures, includes a classic 6 membered benzene ring. However, what is benzene used for? I was curious as to how we use it and why it was so important so I looked up the historical uses of Benzene. Apparently in the 19th century, it was considered to have a nice smell to it, so men used it for after shave. Later in the 20th century it was used in decaffeinated coffees. Upon further research, benzene is actually a carcinogen and is not used for those purposes any longer. Since the danger of benzene was discovered, it is used now for manufacturing purposes: plastics, lubricants, rubbers, etc. Another great point about benzene is that is the base of many other derived chemicals.

Uses of Benzene