Consciousness and how it got to be that way

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Is Science Self-Correcting? Not Necessarily

Steven Hsu blogs a 2012 paper by John Ioannidis, the meta-analysis and replication guru who has become famous by identifying the statistical skeleton's in medicine's closet. Improving this is critical not only for medical science's ability to get results, but also in terms of science's credibility in the eyes of the public. This latter consideration has never been so critically important as now.

Excerpted from the abstract:
...self-correction does not always happen to scientific evidence by default....History suggests that major catastrophes in scientific credibility are unfortunately possible...Careful evaluation of the current status of credibility of various scientific fields is important in order to understand any credibility deficits and how one could obtain and establish more trustworthy results. Efficient and unbiased replication mechanisms are essential for maintaining high levels of scientific credibility...In the absence of replication efforts, one is left with unconfirmed (genuine) discoveries and unchallenged fallacies. In several fields of investigation, including many areas of psychological science, perpetuated and unchallenged fallacies may comprise the majority of the circulating evidence.
Ioannidis, J.P. Why Science Is Not Necessarily Self-Correcting. Perspectives on Psychological Science November 2012 vol. 7 no. 6 645-654.

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