Science between stupidity and serendipity 23 & 30 jan

Science between stupidity and serendipity 


Science flourishes through creativity and perseverance. In cases of success, we sometimes call it serendipity. Nonsense may also be the result. Then stupidity is the right term. Both terms will get the attention they deserve. Van Boxsel will put forward the provocative premise that stupidity is a condition for intelligence, that blunders stimulate progress, that failure is the basis for success. But is it enough to overcome fundamental human stupidity? Van Andel will show the other side of creativity in research: the talent to find unsought findings. He will discuss a series of patterns of serendipity, in order to show us how to anticipate what is unexpected and to find what is not sought.


Tuesday 23rd January - Stupidity as motor for research

Matthijs van Boxsel is fascinated by stupidity, resulting in a life long project: The Encyclopaedia of Stupidity, parts of which are translated into fifteen different languages.


Tuesday 30th January - The art of making unsought findings: science and serendipity

Pek van Andel is researcher in the medical department at the University of Groningen. He won the Wubbo Ockelsprize in 1992 for his work on the cornea and the IgNobelprize in 2000 for his MRI scans of human copulation. He just finished his dissertation, Serendipity at work.  


Vrijhof/Amphitheater, 4:30-5:45 pm. Admission is free.