Don't they know science doesn't work like that? You can't just order scientific breakthroughs. They happen when you are looking at something you've been working on for years and suddenly see a connection you never noticed before, or when you're looking for something else altogether. Sometimes they even happen by accident. Don't they know you can't get a scientific breakthrough just because you want one?
Sometimes events that lead us bereft of anything but grief just happen for no reason other than happenstance--a car turns left instead of right, a train is missed, a call comes too late--and the real test of our humanness is whether, in light of that knowledge, we are ever able to recover. When we again find our way despite the inability to manufacture a deeper meaning in our suffering, that I think is when God smiles upon us, proud of the strength of his creation.