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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.


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