1

I have been recently working on my Master thesis. The idea for it was approximately the following: take a recent Nature paper of my supervisor, reproduce the results and add them to my Master thesis. This is exactly what I did, and I improved the experimental setup significantly, as compared to previous studies.

Unfortunately, during the final stages of the thesis I became increasingly confident the paper my work was based on contained a critical error. As I am an experimentalist, and rigorous investigation of this topic required a considerable amount of non-trivial theoretical work, I decided to stick to the original methodology of the paper in my thesis in the remaining time, while highlighting the possible problem in a suggestive way. I discussed this with my supervisor, and he agreed this might have been the case.

This year, I applied to US grad schools in physics, and I got into a top-1 program in my field. I will probably have to present my results to those people in order to get into the lab I like. As these people are literally the best in the world, I am sure they will spot a mistake, if there is one, and I am 99% positive this is the case.

Though the people from that lab seemed to like me initially very much (I had some other results to brag about), I am worried their opinion might change if I present this questionable methodology I used.

My question is: if the questions arise during my presentation, how can I discuss the issue in a tactful manner, being an excellent representative to my previous workplace?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.