Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reproducing Science

I trust little that I hear in the life sciences. It is worst in fields like psychology, nutrition, or epidemiology. These fields constantly are producing new studies which disagree completely with their old studies. There are all too few scientists who actually are doing good science, and too many which are just confirming their biases.

So I am glad to hear about a initiative to have independent reproducing of science experiments before publication. Right now there is little incentive for anyone to reproduce anyone else's research. The funding system does not encourage anyone to do the research and the publication system makes it difficult to publish either a successful or failed duplication of the work of another scientist.

A good example of this was a study done recently showing just how poor most scientific papers really are:
In March, a cancer researcher at Amgen pharmaceutical company, based in Thousand Oaks, California, reported that its scientists had repeated experiments in 53 'landmark' papers, but managed to confirm findings from only six of the studies

No comments: