Patricia Hunt will discuss “Science by Accident” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 in Smith CUE 203.

The public is welcome to this Common Reading Tuesdays guest expert lecture relating to “Being Wrong,” by Kathryn Schulz.

For a quarter century, Hunt researched how age affects a woman’s ability to produce genetically normal eggs. In 1998 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, she was conducting studies with mouse eggs when she saw a sudden and very dramatic change in the data for control animals.

After a significant amount of sleuthing, she realized that a temporary worker in the animal facility had used the wrong detergent in the cage washer, inadvertently exposing her animals to the endocrine disrupting chemical, bisphenol A (BPA).

The janitor’s little mistake, Hunt says, changed the course of her research.

Since her discovery, BPA has become a household word; legislation has banned BPA-containing food and beverage containers in much of the U.S.

Hunt is an Edward Meyer Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, on faculty in the School Molecular Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and researches mammalian germ cells in the Center for Reproductive Biology.