Serendipity, Luck and Wisdom in Research is a book chronicling the serendipitous events behind many of the scientific advancements and discoveries of the last century.  Written by Patrick J. (Jerry) Hannan, a lifelong chemist and award winning storyteller, the book is written in an informal, anecdotal style intended for a non-technical audience.  Hannan’s ability to weave together these tales of accidental discovery in a thoroughly enjoyable manner will please readers from all backgrounds.

Sometimes involving luck, often overlooked, but always surprising; Hannan’s tales of fortune and its role in scientific research illuminate the events behind scientific advancements with far reaching implications.  Included in his book is the tale of the wrong turn in the laboratory that led to the discovery of Viagra, the story of how spilled coffee resulted in the field of chromatography, and the events that led to the accidental discovery of Teflon.  Also included is the role of an awe inspiring sunset from a Scottish hillside leading to four Nobel Prizes in Physics.  These tales and more are deftly told by Hannan, resulting in a book that is surprisingly light, fun and readable.