Well… where the hell do I even start? Yesterday was actually a semi-okay day. I mean the world is still on fire, the pandemic is still killing far too many people( but somehow not enough for the people in charge to care), and I mean let’s face it, it feels like the human race is in the death throes. HOWEVER, all that aside, my microscopic insignificant day wasn’t bad… now I’m worried.
Okay, I’m only semi kidding about being worried. I mean yesterday I got a lot done, the car seems to be fixed (for the moment) and more importantly I’ve had yet another breakthrough with that data I collected using my super secret technique that I can’t wait to share with the world (IT’S SO FRUSTRATING I CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT YET!!!!).
I mean I seriously have my Co-PI, who was probably the most skeptical that this would work out of the people who are helping me with this project, convinced that I have something. We definitely have something using the methods he normally uses, we’ve finally and firmly came to that conclusion, so that was the first breakthrough, but I also had another major (to me) one.
He’s never analyzed data the way we do in my main PI’s lab. So I had the realization that he may not fully understand what I was showing him and why it’s not some other noise artifact causing the things we’re seeing. So I sent him a few papers on the subject and I sent him some new results using some dummy sensors as a sanity check and he was (somewhat at least) convinced!
He asked me for the results for another condition today since that would be closer to the conditions we’re using in the context of my technique and I already know we have something there too, he doesn’t know that yet. While I was thinking about it last night, it occurred to me that one of the things he’s worried about showing up in our data couldn’t exist in this other condition! As in it’s not a factor anymore AT ALL, so I have yet more evidence to show that what we are seeing is real and I only just made that connection last night!
It’s all very exciting of course and I look forward to seeing his response on the subject when I send him the results and point out that the source of noise he was worried was causing what we saw doesn’t exist in this other condition. Basically what I love about my Co-PI is that he’s so skeptical, it makes me think about the data in ways I wouldn’t have if he just accepted it outright. It helps me strengthen my argument and helps me come up with new ways to validate the work.
When we do release this technique into the world, there will be tons of people who are skeptical and that’s a good thing. That’s how science should work! I want them to come attack my methodology and find the flaws in what I’m doing because truthfully I don’t want to put something into the world if it doesn’t work. So anticipating these arguments and finding ways to counter them or to show that what we are seeing isn’t something else we can avoid the embarrassment of finding out that it isn’t actually what we thought it was. That’s why I’m so happy my Co-PI is skeptical, because it makes me better.
All that to say, I think I’ve finally got solid, well thought out, and very thorough proof to back up the things I’m saying. Is it still a little shaky? Yeah, unfortunately there isn’t a lot of research in the thing I’m doing, but I’ve found at LEAST one example from other labs in all the points my Co-PI brings up that says if what we are seeing is real, it should look like “X” and you know what? It does!
I just wish there were others doing the work so I could build a stronger case, but that’s the problem with being first, no one knows what to expect until you show them.