When most people think of experiments and labs, they think of movie scenes with scientists who wear white lab coats, goggles, gloves and work on life altering experiments, but most times this is not the case. When I first started conducting experiments on my own, the first thing I realized was that most of the experiments carried out are revised versions of papers that have already been written, about results that have been proven, or follow ups from where the previous person stopped in their experiment.
Another thing I realized was that there are different parts to an experiment. Once, I read about a scientist who spent years of his career to get significant results of an experiment he was working on. I thought it would be rather boring to spend years of your life doing the same thing over and over again with minor altercations until you finally get a “good” result, for lack of a better word. However, I have come to realize that there are multiple parts that contribute to one result and to acquire that result may as well take a whole career.
As opposed to what I wrote above, another thing which surprised me was that there was no such thing as a “bad” result, every result that is acquired, even if the experiment went wrong somewhere, gives you an idea of how to go about your experiment in a more productive way. Therefore, every result whether “good” or “bad” should be recorded and looked into.
Finally, the last thing that has surprised me so far is how many times an experiment has to be conducted and the amount of people that have to replicate that experiment and get the same result before it can be considered as a significant result.