November 26th, 2016
Guest writer for Wake Up World
You may have heard of “the crisis of science” recently. That there is something massively wrong with the way science is being conducted these days is not a fringe anti-science idea anymore. It’s being discussed in mainstream publications like The Washington Post, The Economist and The Times Higher Education Supplement, and even mainstream science publications like Scientific American, Nature and phys.org.
So what is the problem? And how bad is it, really? And what does it mean for an increasingly tech-dependent society that something is rotten in the state of science?
Let’s take a look at the problems facing modern science, and what is at the root of it all.
Reproducibility is one of the bedrocks of the scientific method. In a nutshell, an experiment is reproducible if independent researchers can run the same experiment and get the same results at a later time and date. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why this is important. If an experiment is truly revealing some fundamental truth about the world then that experiment should yield the same results under the same conditions, anywhere and any time (all other things being equal).
Well, not all things are equal.
Previous articles by James Corbett:
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