Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Reading List: Brilliant Blunders

Starting your summer break reading list? A new release from Mario Livio highlights notable "missteps" from well-known scientists.

Today in TIME Science & Space: "Science's Brilliant Blunders: How Oops Moments Became Eurekas", discussion of Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe by Mario Livio, author of The Golden Ratio: The Story of PHI, the World's Most Astonishing Number.


The adult non-fiction title offers an inside look at a few notable (and then notorious) moments in science history from five prominent science figures: Charles Darwin, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Linus Pauling, Fred Hoyle, and Albert Einstein.

For students, spin the conversation from blunders to accidents and failed experiments that yielded unexpected results and another realm of notable discoveries opens up and invites fun science-themed conversation for family dinner or the car ride home! Scientists are not always right, but being wrong can still result in forward motion. This is an important concept for students, especially when students do not always see their hypotheses supported by their experiments and projects. Science is often about testing, retesting, refining ideas, and looking at different angles.

See "Putty Science: Family Fun with Polymers" and "Encouraging and Inspiring Female Student Engineers" to get the conversation started.


Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


thumbnail
A recent robotics workshop gave students in New Jersey the opportunity to experiment with 3D design using Autodesk® Tinkercad® and then to use their custom parts in their robots.

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: What happens when you heat up or cool down a bunch of molecules? Do rubber bands behave as you might expect?

thumbnail
This year, give your hardboiled eggs a twist and turn ordinary ovoid hardboiled eggs into fun shapes! The trick to the transformation is understanding the science behind the process of hardboiling.

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: mix up your own bubbly drink and experiment to find just the right combination of ingredients.

thumbnail
As winter turns to spring, farmers are preparing to plant this year's crops. For some, tilling their fields is a thing of the past.

thumbnail
Mesmerizing video puts the physics of liquid in motion. Students and families can explore related science with hands-on activities that are fun to do at home or in the classroom.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.