The Most Embarrassing Moments in the History of Science
What? Scientists get things wrong? We know. It’s shocking to hear, but science isn’t always an exact science. Mistakes do happen -- and they often lead to great scientific discoveries. So, grab your safety glasses and see if you can identify the most embarrassing scientific moments ever.
What is the name of the protoscience where philosophy, science, occultism and theology come together to turn lead into gold?
According to Johann Joachim Becher, phlogiston is an essential element for what chemical reaction?
Roughly how old is the planet Earth?
4 billion years
What is the smallest particle of matter?
Before 1953, what did scientists think was the key to heredity?
Until the late 19th century, doctors thought infection was caused by this.
What celestial body lies at the center of our solar system?
What product, now recognized as dangerous, was advertised as healthful in medical journals of the 1930s and 1940s?
What is the main cause of ulcers?
Which science mistake is the drug company Pfizer credited with making?
Which of these science mishaps caused the space shuttle Challenger to explode?
failure of an O-ring seal
defective metering rod
prematurely blown hatch
In the 1960s, geneticists crossed honeybees from which two continents to accidentally create a deadly new species?
Europe and Africa
Africa and Asia
Europe and South America
Which doctor was cleaning up his lab when he discovered penicillin?
Naval engineer Richard James discovered which novelty item?
Which animal was at the center of a fraudulent discovery that was displayed at the National Geographic Society?
Which famous science theory was introduced 1989?
low energy nuclear reaction
The Chernobyl Disaster released how much more radiation than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined?
50 times more
100 times more
500 times more
What smelly substance was thought to cure baldness in 17th century England?
Which animal has been believed to suck the sick right out of you?
Now for some extra credit fun. Name the science mistake that occurred in the movie “Mary Poppins.”