The number of scientific papers published every year continues to increase, but scientific knowledge is not progressing at the same rate. Here we argue that a greater emphasis on falsification – the direct testing of strong hypotheses – would lead to faster progress by allowing well-specified hypotheses to be eliminated. We describe an example from neuroscience where there has been little work to directly test two prominent but incompatible hypotheses related to traumatic brain injury. Based on this example, we discuss how building strong hypotheses and then setting out to falsify them can bring greater precision to the clinical neurosciences, and argue that this approach could be beneficial to all areas of science.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Neuroscience
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Immunology and Microbiology