Hi - Dr.Collison here! This part of my web site lists several
personal philosophies and beliefs that I have. I'll be updating
it regularly, with a bit of luck, on topics from God, politics and
general life observations!
However I think the most important philosophy
that I can communicate is my philosophy of experimental research.
I will give an overview below of some of the assets that I will
be trying to push upon all research students in my group.
- We are searching for the truth. We are not in the business of
politics or marketing- our raison d'etre is to publish what really
- Excellent scientific research must be reproducible and self-consistent
- the same experiment must also work in Korea as well as in the
US. This is what can often be the most frustrating part of getting
publishable work out of the door. I often quote the 80:20 rule
- it takes 20% of your time to get the first 80% of the data and
80% of your time to get the final 20% (reproducibility data, and
making sure your claims are air-tight).
- Also since we are reporting the truth we must state the limits
of our conclusions - we must provide the error limits of our experiments.
- We must think critically at all times.
- Why are we running this experiment?
- Do we have the appropriate control?
- What do we expect the results to tell us and do we care
enough about the outcome of the experiment to be spending
our time on this?
- What experimental parameters do we need to answer the questions
we are posing?
- We must try to work independently - to think for ourselves
but we must not be afraid to bounce ideas off of our colleagues!
- Our work often requires a lot of time to interpret the data
- we're trying to see the big picture behind the scrolling green
characters on the screen (My token "Matrix" analogy).
This should be the fun part - the logic puzzle!
- If we can describe our data with a mathematical model we are
winning! The language of math is so powerful - we know that everything
that happens in the real world can be explained by a model whose
basic mechanics are based on mathematics. Fitting data with a
model allows us to take our qualitative data nd make it quantitative.
- I strongly believe that if you work in my group you will learn
excellent habits and will put yourself in a strong position for
PhD research, should you decide to take that pill.
- The science of Life's Complexity