Scientific experiments take a long time. Before the very first meeting at which a research question is proposed and the publication of the final answer, there is a seemingly endless amount of intermittent steps (you can get an idea about all of them here).
For me as a PhD-student, I feel it is important to keep my vision clear along the long way. It might get misty between A and Z, with the final goal losing his clarity through countless practical questions along the way.
After almost three years, we now finally gathered all data for one of the main stories of my PhD, a story based on questions first posed by my supervisor and colleagues even before y PhD was in the picture.
Now we are almost three years later, and it is wise to admit that the original hypothesis might have been a little bit blurred over time. You all know the game of whispering a sentence from one person to another, where you end up with a totally different one after only a few trials, and there is a reason why nobody tries playing those games over a period of three years…
There is a chance that the true original hypothesis got lost in the mists of time: during the fieldwork, new questions arose that seemed more important, or the data analysis revealed other unexpected patterns that made you forget the first ideas.
While all these new questions are important when finalising a story, it is opportune to reach back to the very beginning and get a clear idea of what triggered all this work in the first place. Did we get an answer on the questions we first asked? Are these answers like we expected?
So that is what I did now, battling the fog and getting my head crystall clear, before I tackle this major question of my research. I am totally ready for it!