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I can imagine that some discoveries are not made for a long time despite availability of all the information and tools that one would in principle need.

Are there clear examples of that?

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    $\begingroup$ Building on what's already there requires a suitable conceptual framework. The various concepts involved in what's already there need to be generalised and adapted so that the relationships between concepts are evident. For example, the concept of number took a very long time to be generalised so that it included more than just positive integers. $\endgroup$ – Nick Jan 28 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply. I agree that my question is probably simplifying a bit too much how science unfolds. However, it seemed useful to frame the question this way. $\endgroup$ – Mattia Rovetta Jan 28 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ Hi, welcome to hsm. Broad, vague and speculative questions of this sort are not a good fit for this site. For questions here try to specify area, time period, etc., and ask something answerable based on known facts. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jan 29 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, what is not answerable based on facts about this question? We know what was known at a specific time in history and we know which evidence a particular individual used to make a specific discovery. Something that was "out there", ready to be discovered by connecting the dots, but was not for a long time. I am missing something? $\endgroup$ – Mattia Rovetta Jan 29 at 7:20
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    $\begingroup$ You do not circumscribe any "specific time in history" or field area, so the range of answers is beyond our space constraints, and "something that was "out there", ready to be discovered by connecting the dots" is a matter for subjective speculations, often anachronistic because the dots are connected today with the benefit of hindsight, and time-specific cultural circumstances are overlooked. History is about what was, not what could have been in another universe. There is a place for "what if" alternative history, and it can be interesting, but it is not here. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jan 29 at 9:25
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To me the most striking example of an invention that could have been invented long before it did is the Antikythera mechanism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism), a calculating machine that predates those of Pascal and Napier by almost 2000 years, but which was lost and forgotten, until its discovery in 1901. If this invention had become known before it sank at sea, the development of Science might have advanced several centuries ahead.

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