The Serendipity Society is comprised of researchers examining the complex phenomenon of serendipity from a variety of disciplinary and organizational perspectives. Given the growing interest among industry and academic institutions in developing spaces for serendipity, our mission is to create and nurture an active network of serendipity researchers, which
- supports collaboration among senior and junior scholars,
- promotes rigorous interdisciplinary research,
- works toward the consolidation of research and development of theory,
- creates a platform from which to develop serendipity research as an independent field of study,
- provides a resource of expertise on serendipity to which organizations, funders, innovators, and planners can turn.
Recent Society Activities:
Beginning April 2020: #serendipityreads, A Twitter Journal Club
First International Serendipity Society Conference: ‘State of the Art, Serendipity Research as an Emerging Field’, September 5-6 2019, City, University of London, UK
Symposium: The ‘Future of Serendipity’ in a Changing World, August 9 2017
Meeting and Paper Session: SerSoc at the Association for Information Science & Technology annual meeting, October 29 & 30 2017
Co-founders of the Society:
Samantha Copeland is an Assistant Professor at the Delft University of Technology, in the Department of Values, Technology and Innovation. A philosopher, Samantha is works to bring together work on serendipity from philosophy of science and epistemology with empirical and interdisciplinary research being done outside of philosophy. Her PhD dissertation presented a tripartite, process theory of serendipity and applied that theory to a recent discovery in neuromedicine. Her papers in Synthese and Perspectives On Science argue that a collective approach to discovery better represents how serendipity happens in science. Current work aims to integrate the insights from serendipity research on how valuable outcomes can emerge in situations of uncertainty with current approaches to urban design and policy that are guided by the ideal of resilience.
Lori McCay-Peet is an information management professional with the Nova Scotia government, and an adjunct professor in the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her research focuses on people’s perceptions and uses of digital information environments, particularly in the context of knowledge work, and examines such topics as serendipity and other aspects of user experience. Her PhD dissertation investigated the individual differences and facets of a digital environment that may facilitate serendipity. She developed two serendipity self-report scales, one to measure perceptions of serendipity and the other to measure how well a digital information environment facilitates serendipitous experiences. She has published and presented her research in several information science and computer science publications and venues including the Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, Information Research, Information Processing and Management, and the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. She recently published a book with Elaine Toms, Researching Serendipity in Digital Environments.