Rein in the Four Horsemen of Irreproducibility

   By Dorothy Bishop – Re-Blogged From Nature

Dorothy Bishop describes how threats to reproducibility, recognized but unaddressed for decades, might finally be brought under control.

More than four decades into my scientific career, I find myself an outlier among academics of similar age and seniority: I strongly identify with the movement to make the practice of science more robust. It’s not that my contemporaries are unconcerned about doing science well; it’s just that many of them don’t seem to recognize that there are serious problems with current practices. By contrast, I think that, in two decades, we will look back on the past 60 years — particularly in biomedical science — and marvel at how much time and money has been wasted on flawed research.

How can that be? We know how to formulate and test hypotheses in controlled experiments. We can account for unwanted variation with statistical techniques. We appreciate the need to replicate observations.

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Compulsory Courses for Any Curriculum; The Science Dilemma

By Dr Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Science is pervasive directly and indirectly in every phase of modern life. While the majority are not directly involved in science, they need to understand science and how it works. It is increasingly the underlying control of social, political, and economic decisions made by them or for them. They need to understand how it works, even if they don’t make it work. This knowledge must be a fundamental part of any school curriculum.

Climate skeptics struggle with getting the majority of people to understand the problems with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) story. It was the theme of my presentation at the first Heartland Climate Conference in New York and many articles and presentations since. The problem is much wider because it relates to the lack of scientific abilities among a majority of the population. Based on teaching a science credit for science students for 25 years, giving hundreds of public presentation and involving myself in education at all levels from K-12, to graduate, and post-graduate, plus the transition to the workplace, I believe a fundamental mandatory change in thinking and curricula are required.

I believe abilities are an example of the ongoing nature/nurture argument. People can learn an ability, but can only achieve a high level of competence with an innate ability. For example, most people can learn the mechanics of teaching, but only a few are ‘gifted’ teachers. These concepts are particularly true of certain abilities, such as music, art, languages and mathematics. From my experience, I learned that most people with these gifts struggled with understanding why other people cannot do as they do. Often, they do not even see their ability as unique, and some deride those without their ability. On a larger scale than just mathematics, which philosophically is an art, is the distinction of abilities between those who are comfortable with science and those who are not.

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