As disposable as a Kimwipe

August 13, 2010

Odyssey observed recently that the most disposable resource in the laboratory ought to be… the hypothesis.

Well, I’m getting some pretty cool results from one of my projects right now. It required the application of a couple of technologies in combination so it took us awhile to get it running. I probably came up with the hypothesis three years ago, maybe two.

And now, I’m applying the approach we’ve developed to a slightly different question than originally intended, but close enough for BWAAHAHAHA! purposes. The question is fascinating and more novel anyway so we have a three-fer instead of a two-fer (or something like that).

Trouble is, these fascinating results are questioning the original hypothesis that I’ve been working toward testing. I have grant proposals written on this stuff!

But you know what? Being possibly wrong on my original hypothesis is no big deal, we’ll just follow on from what our current data are telling us. It will still end up someplace that is interesting.

That’s the beauty of not being obsessed with your theories and hypotheses. In a lot of ways you are much freer this way. You may not waste as much time driving your pet hypothesis straight through the dust and into the bedrock before you realize you were wrong.