Scientists are always doing experiments or making observations that disappoint them. Most negative experiments are consigned to the file drawer. But in physics, lead is regularly transmuted into gold by treating a negative result as an upper limit—an observation of the maximum strength of the phenomenon under investigation. The logic and sociology of upper limits and the logic and sociology of positive results are different. I explore the difference through a case study in the physical sciences. In the conclusion I ask why social sciences only rarely translate their negative findings into successes.Author Keywords: Physics; Gravitational Waves; Negative Results; Upper Limits; Audiences for Science
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2003.09.002
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Stages in the Empirical Programme of Relativism.Harry M. Collins - 1981 - Social Studies of Science 11:3-10.

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