Alchemist Hennig Brand looks focused, if maybe a bit drained, in this 1795 painting by Joseph Wright. The painting depicts Brand's discovery of the chemical element phosphorus. Joseph Wright of Derby/Wikimedia hide caption

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Joseph Wright of Derby/Wikimedia

Phosphorus Starts With Pee In This Tale Of Scientific Serendipity

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Don't let your beautiful relationship with science run up on the rocks just because of the occasional contradiction or misunderstanding. Take a minute to try and see things from another perspective. Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Can our nation afford political waffling on issues of scientific consensus? Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

The Universe of Particles exhibition at CERN in 2011. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images