Editorial: Negative and positive data, statistical power, and confidence intervals
Department of Entomology and Center for Community Genetics,
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is negative about negative data? Scientists understand negative data from our training in data analysis and statistics, where we use a positive concept of negative data. Negative data are data that do not enable us to reject our null hypothesis. Such data are often difficult to publish because it is not possible to prove the null hypothesis. Every active research scientist has a large drawer where these data languish. In the area of environmental biosafety, however, some scientists have begun to use “negative data” in a second, normative way. This normative concept of negative data has socio-political connotations, where “negative” data has come to connote results that GMO proponents could use to support, and GMO opponents could use to oppose the development of GMOs. This politicization of GMO biosafety research is worthy of study in its own right, but EBR is prepared to accept any kind of “negative” or “positive” data.
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2003