Science's 'irreproducibility crisis' is a public policy crisis too | TheHill
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-04-18
"In 2012, the biotechnology firm Amgen could only replicate 6 out 53 “landmark” studies in hematology and oncology. That finding was not unusual. In the last 15 years, study after study has revealed that a great deal of peer-reviewed published scientific research fails the test of other researchers, using the same methods, finding the same results. This has been dubbed the “reproducibility crisis.” How much of a crisis? In 2005, Dr. John Ioannidis, now of Stanford, estimated that as much as half of published research findings in biomedicine are probably false. In some other fields it may be worse. The research on which concepts such as “stereotype threat,” “power poses,” and “implicit bias,” for example, reproduce badly if at all. The scientific community is not lacking for those who tut-tut these findings. Skeptics say that just because someone tried to reproduce an experiment and failed doesn’t mean the original results were wrong. That’s a reasonable point, but evidence keeps mounting that the reproducibility crisis is real. My colleagues and I at the National Association of Scholars think we know one of the deep causes of the crisis: bad statistics. Nearly all science these days depends on assessing the likelihood of a hypothesis. Mess up the connection between hypothesis and data, and the result is a “finding” that might as well be pulled out of thin air...."