• Question: What makes you a good scientist

    Asked by SAVAGEONFLEEK to Melissa on 26 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Melissa Wilson Sayres

      Melissa Wilson Sayres answered on 26 Apr 2016:

      I think what makes anyone a good scientist is to be methodical, and to play our own critic. The best thing we can do for science is to think of the alternative explanations for the science that we’re doing, and to make sure we’ve considered as many possibilities for the way the experiment or analysis could have resulted in something we weren’t expecting. It can be easy to confirm what we are expecting to see. It is much more difficult to make sure that we aren’t happy with the results just because we were expecting them.

      Also, we replicate everything. It can be frustrating to re-do experiments and analysis, but if our science is not reproducible, then it isn’t really good science. I feel like if we are able to reproduce findings in our lab, and make those methods available to other people to reproduce our findings, we can – at a minimum – be certain that we are being as transparent as possible about the process and results. And hopefully people can build upon our findings, or help us out if they find something that should be done differently.