I had a fantastic meeting with my PhD supervisor earlier this week, to review my approach to the research methodology chapter of my thesis. When we stopped for some lunch and a walk outside, James showed me two articles from the 19 October 2013 issue of The Economist. They blew my mind. Entitled How science goes wrong and Trouble at the lab, the articles outlined how much of the so-called scientific research conducted by academics is actually a load of rubbish. For example:
The examples and supporting narrative floored me—it was sobering reading. The points about how research is conducted, how research articles are reviewed and, most importantly, how research is funded (the funding mechanisms drives the behaviours) were enlightening. The lingering question in my mind, having dwelt on these articles over the last two days, is this: just what research can we accept then? The answer probably lies in the maxim recorded in the first sentence of the 'goes wrong' article: 'trust, but verify'.
The exercise was a timely and helpful wakeup call for my own efforts, to ensure my work is 'good science'. Thank you James.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.