Scientific Anthology: Serendipity

Introduction

Serendipity is defined asĀ “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

The Purpose of Backstory

“Paul felt truly happy; at last he was becoming the person he wanted to be.
A decade later, and he was contemplating how to approach his parents to ask for money to pay an attorney to represent him in a sexual assault case.” -Weinberg, pg 66

In each chapter, it seems Weinberg deviates a little from the main narrative, either providing backstory on the main characters, or background information on the different scientific methods used in the case.
However, I’m not sure how I feel about this extensive backstory provided for Frediani. On the one hand, we don’t know yet if he’s innocent or guilty, and I understand that it’s important to view him as a complex human being, rather than just the main suspect in a sexual assault case. However, when Ms. Weinberg was writing this book, she likely already knew the outcome of the trial–she already knew if Frediani was guilty of assaulting Helena.
If he is guilty, then this backstory seems to take on a different meaning, one I’m not too sure I like. We hear all about Frediani’s strict parents and his medical problems growing up, and how happy he was to finally get to be himself at college. All this suggests that Frediani, at this point in the narrative a likely rapist, is someone we should feel sympathy for.
He had such a rough childhood, the poor man. Let’s not judge him too harshly, right?
On top of all this oh so tragic backstory, Weinberg ends the chapter with the bombshell Andrea drops on Frediani–she’s pregnant with twins.

The Purpose of Backstory