Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not

An anonymous author at The Economist claims that much published scientific research is irreproducible.

The idea that the same experiments always get the same results, no matter who performs them, is one of the cornerstones of science’s claim to objective truth. If a systematic campaign of replication does not lead to the same results, then either the original research is flawed . . . or the replications are.

Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab | The Economist.

One thought on “Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not

  1. Our friend the Science Geek commented:

    It’s not new news to scientists. So the Earth isn’t round — it bulges in the middle and is squashed at the poles. But basically, it’s round. And science does work and is self-correcting, but not how the article imagines it.

    No enterprise is perfect, and the problems are mostly with the “soft” sciences (like psych and sociology which often have a political ax to grind, data are easy to get and impossible to interpret). Don’t get me started on drug clinical trials. But planes fly, you can talk to California on your cellphone, and X-rays will find the fracture.

    The thing that scientists understand is that old ideas are not rejected when the weight of evidence goes against them. This is Big Torah: They’re rejected when they’re no longer productive. But understanding that requires a lifetime of doing it.

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