Serendipity: an Argument for Scientific Freedom?
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conference paper description
The unpredictability of the development and results of a research program is often invoked in favor of a free, desinterested science that would be led mainly by scientific curiosity, in contrast with a use-inspired science led by definite practical expectations. This paper will challenge a crucial but underexamined assumption in this line of defense of scientific freedom, namely that a free science is the best system of science to generate unexpected results. We will propose conditions favoring the occurrence of unexpected facts in the course of a scientific investigation and then establish that use-inspired science actually scores better in this area.