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» » Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs
Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs e-book


Morton A. Meyers






Medicine & Health Sciences

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Arcade Publishing; 58602nd edition (December 8, 2008)





Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs e-book

by Morton A. Meyers

Meyers, Morton A. Publication date.

Meyers, Morton A.

Happy Accidents is the best book I've read this year. Published on January 21, 2008. I eagerly devoured it in a couple of days.

Though within thescientific community a certain stigma is attached to chance discoverybecause it is wrongly seen as pure luck, happy accidents happen every dayand Meyers shows how it takes intelligence, insight, and creativity torecognize a "Eureka! I found what I wasn't look for!" moment and know whatto do next. In discussing these medical breakthroughs and others, D. eyers makes a cogent, highly engaging argument for a more creative, ratherthan purely linear, approach to science.

Korean Journal of Radiology. Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern. Medical Breakthroughs. Morton A. Meyers, MD. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-55970-819-7. So breakthrough innovations depend on innovative entrepreneurs being able to find funding independent of the insider incumbent institutions, usually self-funding.

Happy Accidents book. Start by marking Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs as Want to Read

Happy Accidents book. Start by marking Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

This is a collection of stories about many of the big breakthroughs in modern medicine which the author connects through the thread of serendipity

This is a collection of stories about many of the big breakthroughs in modern medicine which the author connects through the thread of serendipity. Before reading this book my conception of the scientific process was Problem Theory experiment new problem

n: besides removal of teeth and tonsils, resections of the stomach, colon, cervix, and uterus were undertaken. 1 This was germ theory gone ma. he era of psychosurgery was introduced. By António Egas Moniz in 1938

MORTON A. MEYERS, . Accident is not really the best word to describe such fortuitous discoveries.


entrepreneurs and professionals recommend Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs.

May 8, 2018:: This is why top entrepreneurs and professionals recommend Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs. This book has 1 recommendation. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Flaneur).

Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs. Happy Accidents This is a superb book that is well referenced. The style, though containing a great deal of "academic" material, is fluid and very readable.

An entertaining and accessible look at the role of serendipity in major medical and scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century explains how chance and lucky accidents led to the discovery of such medical advances as penicillin, chemotherapy drugs, X-rays, Valium, the Pap smear, and Viagra. Reprint.
Happy Accidents is the best book I've read this year. I eagerly devoured it in a couple of days. The book is basically a history of medicine in the twentieth century with a focus on the hypothesis that most of the important discoveries and advances have been the result of chance, serendipitous observations by researchers motivated primarily by scientific curiousity rather than review committee directed research and development. In developing this theme of serendipity, I presume that the author must have been inspired by the book Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science by Royston Roberts, reviewed below(q.v.), a similar book published in 1989, also fascinating in similar vein. Happy Accidents is a fine complement to its predecessor because the earlier focused more on organic chemistry and dreary industrial processes, while Happy Accidents is the grand pageant of medicine in the twentieth century, as told in vivid detail and literary style by its author, a practioner of the same field as me--radiology! It's inspiring that radiologists can have such sparkling erudition, but not at all suprising.

Happy Accidents surges forward with and anecdote-driven, lively style. The stories and histories are richly supported with footnotes and references, which provide a portal to further reading. Books referenced in the footnotes will probably supply much of my reading well into the next year. The author shines light into so many obscure corners of medical history, not covered in standard popular histories. I had considered myself quite a student of medical history, but Meyers shattered my illusions and expanded my knowledge by some fifty percent! And I agree with one of the other reviewers that this book should be a part of the medical curriculum for students. For me personally, the history of how different therapeutics were discovered and why they were developed when they were lends understanding more valuable than the voluminous registers of facts one is force fed in the modern medical curriculum.

Meyers also weaves an interesting thread of cultural history into his narrative, when he closely examines the barbaric ages of lobotomies and electroconvulsive therapy. In true Stalinist style, these "treatments" were often used to punish dissenters and non-conformists under the malevolent guise of "therapy". Another story along these lines that I have read about was Lou Reed's "treatment" with electroconvulsive therapy for showing homosexual tendencies. Later, Meyers offers some shocking social history about the involuntary experiments with LSD performed on hundreds a Americans by the CIA under director Sidney Gottlieb. Great stuff.

As to the basic premise of the book, the importance of serendipity cannot be denied, but I question whether this warrants a whole new outlook on the investigative process. A large number of discoveries and inventions (CT, MRI, ultrasound) have been the product of directed research and development. And some of the scenarios the author labels "serendipitous" seem more goal directed to me. For example, when Fleming discovered penicillin, he made a chance observation, but he WAS researching antibiosis, and he discovered antibiosis, albeit in a slightly unexpeced place. Otto Loewi's famous experiment proving the existence of chemical neurotransmitters was part of the natural sequence of the hypothesis forming/testing procedure started by Dale and his British colleagues. And sadly, I wonder whether serendipitous observation is a faculty that can be learned and developed, or whether it is an inborn trait like mathematical ability, which one either has or has not.

Altogether, Happy Accidents is an entertaining, informative, thought provoking book that should be read by any physician or medical student. I was wishing the author would write more books in similar vein, but I aleady see that he has just published a new book, Prize Fight: The Race and the Rivalry to be the First in Science (Macsci), which I will download for my Kindle ASAP!
I really enjoyed this book! The author, Morton Meyers is a physician who obviously loves this topic. I have been interested in the history of science and medicine for years, and I enjoyed informally "collecting" anecdotes about famous discoveries. I am a physician and 62 years old, so I have heard and "collected" a lot of anecdotes ---- but Dr. Meyers presents many new details of anecdotes, so I was surprised by the nuances that he was able to provide. He obviously has spent a lot of time preparing this book. Also, the accuracy is excellent, and the book is written in an entertaining style. The 25-page Introduction is a fascinating essay in and of itself. There follow four major parts of the book, with a 20 page well-written Conclusion section. There is a 3-page selected bibliography, and then a detailed index. The book covers at least 39 specific instances of serendipity in medicine, and several were ones about which I had previouly heard very little. So this book was a lot of fun and well worth the time. I have always been interested in use of anecdotes for educational purposes, and I was delighted years ago by Richard Feynman's books, such as "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." Walter Glatzer wrote a wonderful collection of short scientific anecdotes called "Eurekas and Euphorias" that also was very entertaining. I used this style of humorous and instructive anecdotes in my own autobiography, "Chess Juggler: Balancing Career, Family and Chess in the Modern World." A reader who is interested in "Happy Accidents" also would enjoy those other three books.
very interesting

The Birth Stochastic Science: Rewriting the History of Medicine

Controlled experiment can easily show absence of design in medical research: you compare the results of top-down directed research to randomly generated discoveries. Well, the U.S. government provides us with the perfect experiment for that: the National Cancer Institute that came out of the Nixon "war on cancer" in the early 1970s.

"Despite the Herculean effort and enormous expense, only a few drugs for the treatment of cancer were found through NCI's centrally directed, targeted program. Over a twenty-year period of screening more than 144,000 plant extracts, representing about 15,000 species, not a single plant-based anticancer drug reached approved status. This failure stands in stark contrast to the discovery in the late 1950s of a major group of plant-derived cancer drugs, the Vinca Alcaloids -a discovery that came about by chance, not through directed research."

From Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs, by Morton Meyers, a book that just came out. It is a MUST read. Please go buy it. Read it twice, not once. Although the author does not take my drastic "stochastic tinkering" approach, he provides all kind of empirical evidence for the role of design. He does not directly discuss the narrative fallacy(q.v.) and the retrospective distortion (q.v.) but he certainly allows us to rewrite the history of medicine.

We did not realize that cures for cancer had been coming from other brands of research. You search for noncancer drugs and find something you were not looking for (and vice versa). But the interesting constant:

a- The discoverer is almost always treated like an idiot by his colleagues. Meyers describes the vicious side effect of "peer reviewing".

b- Often people see the result but cannot connect the dots (researchers are autistic in their own way).

c- The members of the guild gives the researcher a hard time for not coming from their union. Pasteur was a chemist not a doctor/biologist. The establishment kept asking him "where is your M.D., monsieur". Luckily Pasteur had too much confidence to be deterred.

d- Many of the results are initially discovered by an academic researchers who neglects the consequences because it is not his job --he has a script to follow. Or he cannot connect the dots because he is a nerd. Meyers uses Darwin as the ultimate model: the independent gentleman scholar who does not need anyone and can follow a lead when he sees it.

e- It seems to me that discoverers are nonnerds.

Now it is depressing to see the works of the late Roy Porter, a man with remarkable curiosity and a refined intellect, who wrote many charming books on the history of medicine. Does the narrative fallacy cancels everything he did? I hope not. We urgently need to rewrite the history of medicine without the ex post explanations. Meyers started the process: he provides data for modern medicine since, say, Pasteur. I am more interested in the genesis of the field before the Galenic nerdification.
I ordered this for a friend for Christmas who is in the drug testing industry. He loved it and even though he hasn't finished it, said it was a great book and right up his alley.

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