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0010231Dwarf FortressDwarf Mode -- Locationspublic2017-05-13 11:112020-01-01 14:31
0010231: Scholars can never reinvent existing discoveries
If someone spends enough time pondering and discussing a new discovery, eventually they'll learn it. This works, and I occasionally see it in play. But if the topic isn't new, they just get the thought that they were "unable to advance the study of [area]". This doesn't actually teach them the topic, though! They often go straight back to studying the same thing.

So as far as I can tell, if someone discovers something and then immediately dies, no one else in the world will ever be able to discover that thing.

I've verified this by examining memory with DFHack. I've found the historical figure list of known topics and current research progress, and I've tested it extensively. If the topic is new, they learn it, and the research progress counters reset. If the topic isn't new, they don't learn it, but the progress counters reset anyway.
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Issue History
2017-05-13 11:11CreidiekiNew Issue
2017-06-08 18:30HuntthetrollIssue Monitored: Huntthetroll
2019-12-22 11:25therahedwigNote Added: 0039638
2020-01-01 14:31therahedwigNote Added: 0039648

2019-12-22 11:25   
So, I can actually confirm this in .44.12, in my case because I was fiddling with the research data via dfhack.

Within worldgen, scholars can 'independently discover' a topic, but they can't seem to in fort mode, which is quite weird.
2020-01-01 14:31   
Okay, so, I noticed that it is semi-random that a topic is or is not discovered, which is why I just asked in fotf what determined it... turns out it is a complex system of counters and rolls.

http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=169696.msg8071983#msg8071983 [^]

Now, you'd think, that'd close this bug, right? However, thing is, after failing to get the topic, even at 100K of credits, they should switch topic, but it seems that it can sometimes be the case they'll just choose the same topic again? I am unsure whether or not that part can be considered a design flaw or whether that's still whether it works as intended...

But in short: scholars CAN learn topics that have been invented before, it just takes a blessing from RNGezus.