Hi Grace and Summer,
Thank you for sharing the results from your potato soft rot study. A gentle reminder that you did not “do something wrong” and no way did your study fail. Your results were not as expected. The success of your study stems from how you you made careful observations, implemented a well-designed study, made and recorded observations, made an accurate report and gave reasonable explanations for the results. All of this is good science. On the other hand, yes, your results were disappointing. And yes, my lab notebooks have plenty of results that were disappointing.
A true story for you. When I was a graduate student working in plant pathology on a virus of cereals that is transmitted only by aphids, I set out do a simple experiment that would confirm wat everyone thought was occurring before moving onto the next set of experiments. Easy, or so we thought. Zip for results. Try again and again and again using different approaches. Finally, after months of trials wit zip results, we realized that the data were not ”wrong”, but instead we were asking the wrong question. Outcome, something else that was much cooler was happening.
So, be proud of yourselves. You did a great job, and yes you save what it takes to be successful in science and anything else that interests you. Perhaps plants and microbes may be part of your future. You are awesome!
Have fun in all you do.
Plants are cool,
Donna Hazelwood, Ph.D.
I loved this mentors response, very encouraging in the face of negative results and even drew on their own experiences to show it happens to all of is. Really awesome.
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1502892.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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