More and more frequently, prior scientific work is not "reproducible." But is it a crisis? And does reproducibility lead us to "truth"? A study of how science may find truth discovers that the diversity of scientific approaches may be crucial.
There’s an increasing concern among scholars that, in many areas of science, famous published results tend to be impossible to reproduce.
According to pharmacologist Ray Dingledine, good science is hard to do because of (1) "our drive to create a coherent narrative from new data, regardless of its quality or relevance"; (2) "our inclination to seek patterns in data whether they exist or not"; and (3) our negligence to "always consider how likely a result is regardless of its P-value." The good news is that this can be fixed.
Statistics is difficult, and choosing the proper tools becomes more challenging as experiments become more complex. That's why it's not uncommon for large genetics or epidemiological studies to have a biostatistician as a co-author. Perhaps more biomedical studies should follow suit.
It s hard to figure out what to believe these days. As Drs. Henry Miller (a physician-scientist) and Stan Young (a statistician) point out in their piece on, one day coffee causes cancer and the next