Question: What do you do when you can't get around a problem you face??? Do you embark on more research or just alter the test???

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  1. Talking to colleagues often helps, sometimes they will think of things that I haven’t. Reading is another thing that helps, sometimes I will find a new method that help me solve my problem.

    Sometimes altering how to approach the problem helps. Instead doing the one big, but impossible experiment you need do a series of experiments. Sometimes the problem is that I can’t measure what I need directly, but I can work out a way to measure it indirectly.

    Other times I just can’t solve it at the moment, and it sits there taunting me. Some I eventually work out, others I have been thinking about for a couple of years now.


  2. When I don’t understand something, or have a problem i can’t solve, talking to people about it is always the best way to start.

    There are hundreds of scientists where I work, all doing different projects, but a lot of the time we use the same methods. So if I am having a problem, there is usually someone in my building who has had the same problem, or has knowledge and experience to help out. This is one of the reasons I like science – it involves more talking than you think!!

    But if that fails – there is always the internet! There is a huge amount of scientific information online, and I am not just talking about Wikipedia. Almost all of the articles that are published in scientific journals are also published online, and there are science search engines to look for the information I need. I think the internet is one of the tools I use the most in my job!

    So talking to people, reading about what other people have done, and sometimes just letting the problem sit in my head so I can think about it. I’ve often had solutions to problems pop into my head when I am cycling home … so having some time to think helps too 🙂