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Wed 9 Oct 2013 13:32 BBC Radio Scotland

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 05 September 2013

Journalist and psychologist Dr Aleks Krotoski sets out to discover what serendipity actually is and why we need it today more than ever.

  • The Serendipity Engine on Tumblr

    Aleks gives the engine a run.
    Want to know more about the Serendipity Engine, and maybe have a go with it yourself? Aleks created this Tumblr account for that very purpose - 
  • Richard Price

    Richard Price and Aleks in the London Library.

    Poet Richard Price joined Aleks in the London Library to talk about serendipty of influence and inspiration in the creative process.

    Website for Richard Price:


  • Narguess Farzahd

    Narguess Farzahd

    While taking her Serendipity engine for a walk Aleks ran into scholar of Persian poetry Narguess Farzadh, reading from the Divan-E-Hafez. This collection of romantic verse by the 14th century Shiraz poet Hafez is an essential part of Iranian culture. Whenever they need guidance in making a decision the Divan is opened at random and the poem on the page is sure to inspire the reader to right course of action.


    You can even seek Hafez's advice online:



  • James Burke

    James Burke & Aleks

    In search of connections Aleks visits with the master science historian and legendary broadcaster James Burke. Can he advise Aleks on what she needs to build a serendipity engine?


    The website for James's knowledge web:




  • Professor Richard Wiseman

    Professor Richard Wiseman

    After repeated attempts to phone him Richard Wiseman finally gets back to Aleks with the difference between serendipity and luck and what sort of person makes the most of both.

    Richards's Website: http://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/

  • Phil Smith

    Aleks and Phil Smith at Exeter Cathedral

    Aleks's final encounter in her quest for a happy accident is with researcher and performer Phil Smith aka Crab Man, aka Mythogeography. He shows her how you need to sensitise yourself to connections if you're to encounter serendipity.


    Enter the strange world of mis-guided walks and counter-tourism at Phil's website:





  • Matt Kingdon Science of Serendipity

    Matt Kingdon author of The Science of  Serendipity

    Enroute to a happy accident Aleks spoke to Matt Kingdon about his book The Science of Serendipity.  Matt is a partner at Whatif where he helps companies use serendipity to innovate in business.


    More details about Matt and his book at:


  • Richard Boyle - Serendipity: How the Vogue word became Vague

    Here's an excellent article we found while researching serendipity. Its by Richard Boyle the Oxford English Dictionary's advisor on Sri Lankan derived words. Thanks to Richard for his advice on the subject.



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