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Personal Experiments

October 4, 2013

A researcher is promoting “personal experiments” that make self-care more scientific.



Your life as a science lab. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

(Jupiter Images)

If you’re going to change your life, whether it’s cutting out caffeine or getting up earlier, you ought to find out if it really makes a difference. That’s the goal of Personal Experiments, a project conceived by computer scientist and entrepreneur Ian Eslick. It helps people apply scientific techniques to making changes in their habits and tracking their results.

IAN ESLICK (Vital Reactor, LLC):

And this might be, I’m going to try to get a little more sleep, well, how much better do I feel, and is that worth spending a little less time with my kids, or not watching my favorite TV show?

Through his website,, participants can also share data to be pooled and analyzed. Although the standards aren’t as rigid as a formal scientific study, Eslick thinks the results are still more meaningful than just a gut reaction. And unlike big clinical trials, the experiments ask what works for you, not for people in general. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.