Literature does not mean “big pile of facts”

As scientist we tend to take what has been done before at face value. If a publication demonstrates a result, it is often tucked away into a mental file: or “big pile of scientific facts”.

While Stephen Heard doesn’t advocate repeating all experiments, he does note that this may not always be the case. For example:

“Published research findings are sometimes refuted by subsequent evidence, with ensuing confusion and disappointment.”