How to write a thesis that disproves another student?

posted
18-Feb-16, 05:37
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for BioMedPhD
posted about 4 years ago
I have spent the previous 2 years of my 3 year phd program attempting to replicate the results of a previous student in the lab (who was recently awarded her phd for the work). After trying to reproduce her results using her method, using different methods and even going so far as to generate a new transgenic cell line, I CANNOT REPRODUCE any of her results.
Should I include these negative results in my thesis? Has anyone experienced a similar situation before?
posted
19-Feb-16, 12:57
edited a moment later
Avatar for charmlessman
posted about 4 years ago
I've not experienced a similar situation myself although I'm aware of people who have. The answer is quite clearly yes. If your results have been obtained through good experimentation then they need to see the light of day. No question. We have to be honest and we can't bury anything that doesn't confirm what has been found previously. We need to be open and talk about why they don't confirm what was found previously.
posted
21-Feb-16, 07:14
by pd1598
Avatar for pd1598
posted about 4 years ago
The point is that you're not 'disproving' anything, because nothing is really 'proved'. You have found different results - you need to explain why. She could be wrong, you could be, you both could be.
posted
24-Feb-16, 00:35
edited about 5 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From BioMedPhD:
I have spent the previous 2 years of my 3 year phd program attempting to replicate the results of a previous student in the lab (who was recently awarded her phd for the work). After trying to reproduce her results using her method, using different methods and even going so far as to generate a new transgenic cell line, I CANNOT REPRODUCE any of her results.
Should I include these negative results in my thesis? Has anyone experienced a similar situation before?


The bigger concern is that at this stage of your PhD you seem to believe that not being able to reproduce someone's results means you have disproved their results. As explained above, you haven't disproved anything. If you publish that you HAVE you are going to have a major credibility issue in the viva.
posted
01-Mar-16, 12:19
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for duffyduck
posted about 4 years ago
Quote From pd1598:
She could be wrong, you could be, you both could be.


They could also be both right, if they somehow badly misunderstood what was happening :D

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766