Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):33-42 (2009)

Authors
Abstract
In the last years there has been a great improvement in the development of computational methods for combinatorial chemistry applied to drug discovery. This approach to drug discovery is sometimes called a “rational way” to manage a well known phenomenon in chemistry: serendipity discoveries. Traditionally, serendipity discoveries are understood as accidental findings made when the discoverer is in quest for something else. This ‘traditional’ pattern of serendipity appears to be a good characterization of discoveries where “luck” plays a key role. In this sense, some initial failures in combinatorial chemistry are frequently attributed to a naïf appropriation of a “serendipity model” for discovery (a “serendipity mistake”). In this paper we try to evaluate this statement by criticizing its foundations. It will be suggested that the notion of serendipity has different aspects and that the criticism to the first attempts could be understood as a “serendipity mistake.” We will suggest that “serendipity” strategies, a kind of blind search, can be seen sometimes as a “genuine part” of scientific practice. A discussion will ensue about how this characterization can give us a better understanding of some aspects of serendipity discoveries.
Keywords Discovery  Combinatorial chemistry  Serendipity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10698-008-9061-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,959
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Scientific Discovery: Logic and Tinkering.Aharon Kantorovich - 1993 - State University of New York Press.
Hans Krebs: The Formation of a Scientific Life, 1900-1933.Frederic L. Holmes - 1993 - Journal of the History of Biology 26 (2):369-373.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Pluralism Worth Having: Feyerabend's Well-Ordered Science.Jamie Shaw - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
70 ( #163,958 of 2,504,596 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,529 of 2,504,596 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes