Science is all about discovery, sometimes deliberate, sometimes by accident. I understand that Sucralose, the artificial sweetener that goes by the trade name “Splenda” (among others) was first discovered when two researchers were conducting an experiment. One told the other to “test” the compound. The other thought he was told to “taste” the compound… A sweet discovery, I’m sure.
I ran across an article recently about a researcher testing some glasses designed to help medical professionals better see blood vessels just under the skin. When the researcher, who was colorblind, looked at the rest of the world through these glasses, he discovered that he could see red and green! 8% of men and 0.5% of women are colorblind. Advances like this might help them see better. While there are side effects — the researcher could not see yellow at all with the glasses, he felt that they would make a difference when he was at the museum or when looking at PowerPoint presentations with colored pie-charts…
The science behind the glasses — the research and the goals are also worth looking at. The scientist behind the work, Dr. Mark Changizi, is studying color perception and has some interesting ideas about why we developed color perception and how we use it, perhaps unconsciously to gather information about others’ physical and emotional conditions.