Question: Have any of you experiments been controversial?

  1. Hi romy – thanks for all your questions!

    Yes, sometimes I have done experiments that are controversial – cause the result was completely unexpected. I looked at the results and thought “That can’t be right” and I so I did it again, but still got the same answer. I showed it to people I worked with and they were like “Really, no that can’t be right” and it took a lot of repeating the experiment, and measuring the same thing but in different ways before we all agreed – Yes, that is the answer. Which is really exciting, but it can also make you nervous and start to wonder if you are on the right track.

    That’s what happens in science when you find something new. You have to have a reliable body of evidence to show that your ideas are right, and that you’ve done enough experiments to show other scientists that your research does explain something new and different. It takes a lot of confidence to find something new, and believe in it – and you just have to show the data you have and the experiments you’ve done and present all the information together – and then draw your conclusions from the evidence.


  2. Yes. in fact my very first experiment as a scientist was controversial. The result suggested that a long established theory was not quite correct. Me and my supervisor at the time met quite a bit of resistance from some of the people responsible for establishing the original theory. They eventually decided to do their own experiments, which agreed with our results and I then went to work with them.

    Now we mostly agree on the new version of the theory, but there is still a little bit of disagreement and more experiments to do.