First the persons thinking about it and studying it are ridiculed or burnt at the stake. Next phase is that it is accepted and made to good use by everybody, and lastly the scientists of the day say they knew it all along and they brought it out to the public.
A body of evidence builds up that refutes what "everybody knew all along." That's what's been happening in science recently, and that's when all Hell breaks loose. It leads to a "scientific revolution" and a "paradigm sift."
Read "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn