A breakthrough in the lab … or not

January 6, 2007

This fall, I spent a couple months intermittently trying to replicate a study published in 1961. The good news: after numerous false starts, I eventually got numbers consistent with the previous data. The bad news: my boss and I are now unsure of what those results mean.

Sorry to be so vague, but I need to protect my intellectual property. I mean, if I’m not careful, some rival scientists could read this blog, decide that they should reconfirm the 45-year-old data, and publish their findings first. That would be tremendously unfair, since it was my brilliant idea to slavishly repeat the earlier study without improving upon it in any way. I think I deserve credit for that, at least.


  1. Cute, Greg, but I *know* you're being disingenuous and that you wouldn't be repeating a 45-year-old study without good reason. You do have me beat, though: this fall my lab repeated a 37-year-old study. On the other hand, we did improve on the original work (although only by analyzing the data in a more sophisticated way).

  2. For the record I have no idea what your talking about. 🙂

  3. Why all the teeth-gnashing over the failure to improve prior efforts? Last fall, I attempted to replicate 40-yr-old running results, and failed miserably. I'd be overjoyed to come even close to past numbers.

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