Everything is an experiment

By James Hayton,
July 20, 2012
I'm James, I'm a former physicist (PhD, Nottingham, 2007) and author of "PhD: An Uncommon Guide to Research, Writing & PhD Life".
Since 2010, I've been helping PhD students all over the world overcome barriers in their research and writing
My strategies have helped thousands of PhD students just like you to build confidence, write better and finish on time

In research, you never know in advance what the answers will be.You can give your best guess, you can even give a detailed justification for why things should turn out that way.But whenever you assume you know the results in advance, the universe has a habit of kicking you hard.Everything is an experiment. It will work out however it works out. The skill then lies in responding to the results, asking more questions, refining your methodology and trying again.The interesting stuff lies in the unexpected, and it's when things go wrong that you can develop your skills as a researcher.So if you are looking for that one big research idea, or that one methodology, you're doing it wrong because you can't predict how things will work out. Try something small, treat it as an experiment, and build from there.

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