Can An Invention Change History Accidentally?

Serendipitous technology, AKA accidental technology discoveries, is revolutionizing how we interact with our world and each other. 

Accidental Inventions

Unintentional innovations, or coincidental tech breakthroughs, are being made in almost every field, from medicine to engineering.

From the discovery of penicillin to the invention of 3D printing, these coincidental technological discoveries have had a profound impact on how we live our lives.

With this in mind, we need to understand how serendipitous technology can be used for both intentional and unintentional purposes to maximize its potential for good.

Penicillin

A Petri dish containing Staphylococcus germs was covered in the mold when Dr. Alexander Fleming arrived home from vacation in 1928. He saw that the germs nearby appeared to be unable to proliferate due to the mold. He soon realized that the mold was producing a chemical that might kill germs as a form of self-defense.

X-Rays

In his laboratory in Wurzburg, Germany, Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovered X-ray while studying if cathode rays could pass through glass when he spotted a glow emanating from a nearby chemically coated screen.

Because of the nature of the photons that produced this light, he called them X-rays.

Aftermath

However, they have also created unexpected consequences that we must now address. We must understand how these unintended consequences of technology can be used to create new opportunities and drive innovation.

Such as the potential for misuse or abuse of technology.