Quote: believing experiments vs simulations

I heard a great quote yesterday during a concrete blast load analysis session at the ACI Convention in Pittsburgh. The presenter had a slide which conveyed the following:

Simulations are believed by no one except those who conducted them.

Experimental results are believed by everyone except those who conducted them.

Thats a great quote and quite true in my opinion (I can only speak on the simulation half). My experience is that if your numerical response doesn’t match experimental data, people like to point out that your analysis is off and can’t predict the response. On the other hand, if your numerical results match the experimental data, people think you falsified the data to get it to match.

Suspicion runs deep toward analytical researchers, I think, largely because of a perception that we are not honest about the limitations of our models. Perhaps the analytical community needs to work to earn the trust of the larger engineering community?

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