We are told by politicians that the science is settled with regard to climate change. We are also told by scientists that to criticise them is to provide a chilling effect on science. Some of those scientists even trot off to court to try to silence critics.
However, it appears the science is far from settled…especially when no one can replicate experiments or the claims made in these so-called peer-reviewed papers they submit to journals like Nature.
Science is facing a “reproducibility crisis” where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, research suggests.
This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon.
From his lab at the University of Virginia’s Centre for Open Science, immunologist Dr Tim Errington runs The Reproducibility Project, which attempted to repeat the findings reported in five landmark cancer studies.
“The idea here is to take a bunch of experiments and to try and do the exact same thing to see if we can get the same results.”
You could be forgiven for thinking that should be easy. Experiments are supposed to be replicable.
The authors should have done it themselves before publication, and all you have to do is read the methods section in the paper and follow the instructions.
Sadly nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth.