I am lifting the following paragraph from a “nameless” friend that just sent it to me in an email. He is trying to get published and the reviewers are hung up on a detail. He won’t be able to publish until he collects the data. He is done with his PhD and the funding is gone. However, some friends collected the data for him. His thoughts (taken with a grain of salt for the political slant):
Science is tough! The general public, and many elected officials in government (esp. Mr. Trump) do not know or appreciate how difficult it is to get “the truth” about any hypothesis. Scientists do not go out and collect “facts.” Rather, they collect “data” and then try to use them to test hypotheses. The results of all our work may, or may not, have much to do with the “truth.”
In the long discussions we had in class about falsifying data to get the hypothesis you want, I love his thoughts. I am now using that logic in my research. Is the data driving the hypothesis or is the hypothesis driving the data?