• Question: has any of your work ever been wrong?

    Asked by ikra to Indi, Jarv, John, Ken, Vicky on 15 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: John Prytherch

      John Prytherch answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      My work is often wrong! When you’re doing something complex it is easy to make mistakes, and most scientists do. The important thing is to notice those mistakes so you can correct them. You have to get good at carefully checking your work to find all the little mistakes. It is very helpful to get other (friendly!) people to check it for you.
      Often the final, most important part of scientific work is when it is published in a science journal to be read by other scientists. It is embarrassing if there are still mistakes in this final stage, but it does happen!

    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      Yes! We often do experiences and expect one outcome but get another. Sometimes this is better than what you expected thought!

      I think as a scientist you need to be prepared to be wrong more than you are right! But that’s not a bad thing!

    • Photo: Indi Ghangrekar

      Indi Ghangrekar answered on 15 Mar 2012:

      Everyone makes mistakes! As I was told by a postdoc friend of mine whilst I was doing my PhD, during the PhD you not only learn techniques to do your experiments and analyse the data but as you progress through it, the best training you get and the mark of a good postdoc is to *realise* when you’ve made a mistake and why it happened! Then you have to go back and fix it 🙂