Hypothesis and conjecture are poorly regarded in the life sciences. We have been subjected to such a deluge of empirical data in the past three decades and most of it neatly fits into current paradigms (Kuhn's 'normal science'). So, it has become fashionable to act as if we can do without it. Objective, consolidative science is deemed the only valid way. All else is received with great suspicion and much disdain.
However, this only works when the working paradigms are an accurate reflection of the actual process. The history of science has taught us that old views can erect major perceptual impediments to progress.
Here I shall list various files and pointers that suggest there is value in this hypothesis.
Hypothesis – my thoughts.
"Hypothesis – my thoughts" contains a rambling set of notes that explores the hypothetical way to progress.
The hypothetical way of progress.
This article, "The hypothetical way of progress", by Huszagh and Infante highlighted the negative image that hypothesis has acquired in the biological sciences. There is another, more recent, editorial in Nature pointing to the importance of giving researchers "free reign" to roam where they want.
. . . on peer review, speculation and hypothesis (author of Medical Hypotheses until his death – early 2003)
- 1990 – no longer archived. This was in The Scientist, Nov. 26, 1990, page 13 "Discouraging Hypotheses Slows Progress". (It has now reappeared on the web.)
- "Peer review of grant applications: a harbinger for mediocrity in clinical research?" 1998
- "Let speculation run riot" BMJ 2000 (Horrobin's letter and editorial comment). This article leads to various responses that include mine – follow the "Rapid Responses" Tab.