Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Think before you calculate, measure, fabricate,....

What will be your New Year's resolution for your research in 2010?

Write more papers? Get more students? Apply for more grants? Get more lab space? Get a paper published in Nature or Science? Learn a new technique?

I think mine is going to be:

Spend the first half hour of each day thinking and writing in a notebook about the important science questions I am interested in and want to try and answer. And, specifically coming up with multiple alternative hypotheses and devising ways to distinguish them.

Where did this come from?

Previously I wrote a post about a beautiful Science paper about Strong Inference by John R. Platt. He references a book he published in 1962, The Excitement of Science. Unfortunately, it is out of print and only two universities in Australia have a copy in their libraries. I got a copy on interlibrary loan and just finished reading it. I have scanned a copy of chapter 7 and chapter 8, which I found the most helpful and challenging.

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