Robergs, R. A., Opeyemi, O. & Torrens, S. How to be a better scientist: Lessons from scientific philosophy, the historical development of science and past errors within exercise physiology. Sports Medicine Heal Sci 4, 140–146 (2022).
What is science? While a simple question, the answer is complex. Science is a process involving human behaviour, and due to the human influence, science is often not pursued correctly. In fact, one can argue that we still do not know what the “correct” pursuit of science should entail. This is because science remains a work in progress, differs for different questions, and we often are not aware of the mistakes made until years, or decades, later. Such mistakes are common, regardless of the discipline. Within exercise physiology, mistakes have been frequent and led to eventual corrections; the replacement of the post-exercise rate of oxygen consumption (V_O 2) debt concept with that of excess post-exercise V_O 2; the invalidation of the cellular production of lactic acid; improvements to maximal heart rate estimation; and on-going debate over the Central Governor Model. Improved training and education in the historical development of science and the contributions from scientific philosophy are important in providing an understanding of science, and more importantly, how to pursue “better” vs. “inferior” forms of science. The writings of Popper and Kuhn are core to enhanced understanding of how to improve the quality of science pursued. Unfortunately, quality education and training in the historical and philosophical development of science remain poor in most countries. Until inadequate educational training is overcome, there is sustained risk for the pursuit of science to remain inadequate, which in turn has a potential widespread detriment to humanity and the planet we live on.Read More