Thought Experiments – A call for (evidence-based) wild ideas

Luis Cláudio Correia (EVIDENCE Editor-in-chief)
Ana Marice Ladeia (EVIDENCE Co-Editor-in-chief)
João de Deus Barreto Segundo (EVIDENCE Executive Editor)

Have you ever heard of the Schrödinger’s cat experiment? Yap, that one in which the cat may or may not have died for purposes of demonstrating quantum indeterminacy. Or Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Beetle in a Box? Hint: it’s not about insect collecting. Or the latest PARACHUTE randomized clinical trial? That which may or may not have presented serious study design inconsistencies…

You probably have.

Those are called thought experiments, which is a fairly common concept across many scientific fields. They are creative ways of testing and pushing the boundaries of study designs, methodological approaches, paradigms and, why not, clinical reasoning.

In light of that [really super cool way to make science] scientific concept, we have opened up a section in the Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare for thought experiments.

Here are some ground rules:

  1. As it has been said before, the “thought experiment” is an imaginary experiment with a scientific message implicit in its logic. In the biomedical sciences, it has been used as a satirical and caricatured way to anchor people’s minds towards better understanding of research itself. That is, they are not just supposed to be fun, they have to be smart, because they come with very big moral obligations attached.
  2. The submissions may be structured in the form of original articles or systematic reviews encompassing the same architecture as those. Hypotheses must be tested and questions must be asked as they would be in a real-world experiment. The data collection should follow the current best practices, ethics and proper protocols. The study designs must reflect real study designs already in use in the health sciences research community. Just because.
  3. The study designs must be as transparent and replicable as possible. It’s still open science, folks.

You are invited to submit your very own thought experiment on any hot (or cold) topic regarding the field of health sciences. Please, keep it in mind that we do love the null hypothesis in the Evidence headquarters.

More on our editorial policies here. And about our journal here.

We are not industry sponsored and we do not hold copyrights. We do science just for the sake of better science.

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