An important component of scientific discovery is a disciplined examination of research results that contradict or negate extant hypotheses. Indeed the history of science is rife with examples of important discoveries arising from such results. However, there is a distinct lack of a forum in which such results can be presented and discussed in any meaningful way. We believe a forum for and dialogue on serendipitous and unexpected results will provide valuable insight and inform modern research practices (emphasis added).
It's like they created a whole journal just for Dan Everett! My first reaction was to double check that this wasn't coming from The Onion, but it appears to be legit. Jonah Lehrer recently made a similar point (see here) about the value of failure in science. In fact, there are informal forums for this kind of discussion; namely, meetings with advisors and lab meetings (as Lehrer points out). But rarely does this discussion get formalized and published. To pique the imagination of researchers, the journal editors pose a
Can you demonstrate that:
- Technique X fails on problem Y.
- Hypothesis X can't be proven using method Y.
- Protocol X performs poorly for task Y.
- Method X has unexpected fundamental limitations.
- While investigating X, you discovered Y.
- Model X can't capture the behavior of phenomenon Y.
- Failure X is explained by Y.
- Assumption X doesn't hold in domain Y.
- Event X shouldn't happen, but it does.