Published: June 10, 2020

Biology Dept. BannerScott Yanco, Andrew McDevitt, Mike Wunder and Laurel Hartley, in collaboration with Clive Trueman of the University of Southampton, recently published a review in the journal Royal Society Open Science: “A modern method of multiple working hypotheses to improve inference in ecology”. One-hundred and thirty years ago Thomas Chamberlin reminded us that the scientific method works best when researchers evaluate a set of competing hypotheses rather than just one. Yet, large swathes of published research only consider a single hypothesis. Even when researchers do consider multiple hypotheses, they rarely evaluate whether those hypotheses make predictions that can be tested with data. Using mathematical or computer simulations before any data are even collected helps researchers determine whether hypotheses can be evaluated in the first place, improving the quality of science. You can find the entire open-access article at: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.200231