Two scientists failed to report unusual findings when they shared their results from a recent science experiment. Why is this not scientifically sound?

1 Answer
Sep 23, 2016

The scientific method is in its purest form an objective search for truth. To throw out unusually findings is to possibly throw out truth.


Many scientific discoveries have come from people noticing unusual results from an experiment and not throwing the results out.

Flemming did an experiment where he noticed that some of his petri dishes had blank spots where bacteria should have grown. If he had thrown out the results antibiotics would not have been discovered at that time.

Radioactivity was discovered by accident when some photographic plates were found to be completely black when the plates had not been exposed to light.

All the results of experiments should be reported so that other scientist can exam the results and draw their own conclusions.

It is acceptable to graph the results of experiments and leave some points out of the line or curve of the graph, explaining that the left out points seem to be due to experimental error. However the experimenter may be trying to make the points fit a line, while another experimenter may find that the points the first experimenter thought were in error complete a hyperbolic curve. This provides a completely different conclusion to the experiment.