contributing unwarranted, counterproductive comments.
Trust and verify
Given time and budget constraints, manufacturers have to
depend on other people’s studies.
We live in an information-rich
society. How can we evaluate
the truth of that information?
We have learned that even peer
reviewed papers may be flawed. In
manufacturing, virtually all of our
information comes from white
papers, from reports in trade pub-
lications (print and online), and
from conference presentations.
Many, if not most, reports are not
peer-reviewed; some are spon-
sored by chemical or equipment
vendors. There are so many manu-
facturing variables that the truth
depends on the situation. Even in
the absence of out-and-out false
or misleading claims, what works
for someone else’s cleaning process
may not be right for you.
The devil is in the details; so
is the truth. One approach is to
get more information directly
from the people who have pub-
lished or presented the study.
When we learn about a promis-
ing technique or case study, we
often contact the people. Text, or
send an email; but we like a retro
technique – the telephone. If we
hear a great program at a confer-
ence, we have even been known
to (gasp!) talk face-to-face with
the presenter. The interaction
allows us to better understand
where a process is most likely to
be successful. In the final analysis,
you have to “trust and verify.” Test
before investing in new equip-
ment or modifying a process line.
1. R. Feynman, excerpts,
Commencement Speech, Cal
Tech 1974. http://neurothe-
2. M. Hiltzik, “Science has lost its
way, at a big cost to humanity,”
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 2013.
3. M. Hiltzik, “More on the
crisis in research: Feynman
on ‘cargo cult science’,” Los
Angeles Times, Oct. 28, 2013.
4. C. Glenn Begley & Lee M.
Ellis, “Drug development:
Raise standards for preclinical
cancer research,” Nature 483,
531–533. (29 March 2012).
Barbara Kanegsberg and Ed
Kanegsberg (the Cleaning Lady and
the Rocket Scientist) are experienced consultants and educators in
critical and precision cleaning, surface preparation, and contamination control. Their diverse projects
include medical device manufacturing, microelectronics, optics, and
aerospace. Contact: email@example.com
San Francisco, Calif.
American Glovebox Society
San Diego, Calif.
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