spotted elsewhere: how science goes wrong

A friend of mine recently pointed out to me an article from The Economist that lists some of the deficiencies of the current scientific system. As stated in the article, a large fraction of the results published in scientific journals could not be verified through reproduction:

Last year researchers at one biotech firm, Amgen, found they could reproduce just six of 53 “landmark” studies in cancer research. Earlier, a group at Bayer, a drug company, managed to repeat just a quarter of 67 similarly important papers.

As explanation, the article identifies a combination of two factors. First, it blames the current “publish or perish” system, where solely publications matter, and “verification does little to advance a researcher’s career”. And second, it points out the bias of scientific journals to publish positive results:

“Negative results” now account for only 14% of published papers, […]

Given these circumstances,

Careerism also encourages exaggeration and the cherry-picking of results.

Advertisements

Posted on 2013/10/23, in science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: