Catherine C. Pollack portrait

Mario Livio, Brilliant Blunders: from Darwin to Einstein – Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe

Selected by Catherine C. Pollack '22

Selected by Catherine C. Pollack '22

In ninth grade, the sunflowers that were integral to my science fair project didn’t bloom. It felt like an insurmountable catastrophe at the time, but this roadblock eventually demonstrated the importance of “growing” from unexpected challenges. When I graduated high school, my dad gave me Brilliant Blunders by Dr. Mario Livio to remind me that even the most esteemed scientists had miscalculations along the way to their most groundbreaking discoveries. Dr. Livio emphasizes that the scientific path to knowledge is paved with mistakes, and this rejection of perfectionism in favor of (eventually brilliant) blunders has fundamentally shaped my core scientific beliefs.

Catherine C. Pollack '22 portrait

Catherine C. Pollack '22

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