In support of descriptive studies; relevance to translational research

J Transl Med. 2007 May 2;5:21. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-5-21.


The contemporary scientific establishment equates hypothesis testing to good science. This stance bypasses the preliminary need to identify a worthwhile hypothesis through rigorous observation of natural processes. If alleviation of human suffering is claimed as the goal of a scientific undertaking, it would be unfair to test a hypothesis whose relevance to human disease has not been satisfactorily proven. Here, we argue that descriptive investigations based on direct human observation should be highly valued and regarded essential for the selection of worthwhile hypotheses while the pursuit of costly scientific investigations without such evidence is a desecration of the cause upon which biomedical research is grounded.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Translational Medical Research*