Study finds scientific reproducibility does not equate to scientific truth

phys.org | 4/9/2019 | Staff
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Reproducible scientific results are not always true and true scientific results are not always reproducible, according to a mathematical model produced by University of Idaho researchers. Their study, which simulates the search for that scientific truth, will be published Wednesday, May 15, in the journal PLOS ONE.

Independent confirmation of scientific results—known as reproducibility—lends credibility to a researcher's conclusion. But researchers have found the results of many well-known science experiments cannot be reproduced, an issue referred to as a "replication crisis."

Decade - People - Remedies - 'replication - Crisis

"Over the last decade, people have focused on trying to find remedies for the 'replication crisis,'" said Berna Devezer, lead author of the study and U of I associate professor of marketing in the College of Business and Economics. "But proposals for remedies are being accepted and implemented too fast without solid justifications to support them. We need a better theoretical understanding of how science operates before we can provide reliable remedies for the right problems. Our model is a framework for studying science."

Devezer and her colleagues investigated the relationship between reproducibility and the discovery of scientific truths by building a mathematical model that represents a scientific community working toward finding a scientific truth. In each simulation, the scientists are asked to identify the shape of a specific polygon.

Community - Scientist - Types - Research - Strategy

The modeled scientific community included multiple scientist types, each with a different research strategy, such as performing highly innovative experiments or simple replication experiments. Devezer and her colleagues studied whether factors like the makeup of the community, the complexity of the polygon and the rate...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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