Literature discussions were usually very quiet in the laboratory, but somehow, this article had sparked a debate. Linda thought it was very bad. Albert liked it very much. Kate, the PI, was undecided. At some point the discussion stalled, so Kate made a move to wrap up.
“So, Linda, why do you think the article is bad?”
“Because they are missing a thousand controls.”
“OK. Albert, why do you like this article?”
“I find their model in figure 6 really cool. Actually, if it is true, it…”
“Precisely my point!” interrupted Linda. “It’s pure speculation!”
“Albert, you describe figure 6 as a model. What makes it a model?”
Albert spoke after a pause.
“It’s an idealized summary of their findings.”
“Fantasized you mean!” replied Linda.
Kate ignored the point and turned to Linda.
“Linda, do you think that figure 6 is a model?”
“Of course not! It’s just speculation.”
“Now I have a question for you Albert: what is the difference between a model and a summary?”
While Albert was thinking, Kate continued.
“And I also have a question for you Linda: what is the difference between speculation and assumption?”
Now they were...