Take a few minutes out of your day and read this article. Pfister and Kirchner provide some good examples of established wisdom that has been discarded because of rigorous hypothesis testing, thus contributing to significant advances in the science of hydrology. However, these examples are overwhelmed in hydrological literature that is tainted with p-hacking and HARKing (hypothesizing after results are known). The authors are clear though, that hydrological knowledge can’t proceed with just rigorous hypothesis testing, which requires a level of control of variables that is unachievable for many real-world hydrological processes. Exploratory, as well as experimental, observation and measurement are required and they draw attention to the limits-of-acceptability approach, the multiple hypothesis testing framework, intensively monitored observatories, and community hydrological models as supplementary approaches. In conclusion: “Further advances in measurement and observation will be vital in framing new hypotheses and testing them rigorously, and thus in advancing the science of hydrology.”

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