Does Science Work?
For years, concern has been simmering across scientific disciplines that academic research as currently conducted claims more in the way of objectivity and reliability than can hold up to rigorous attempts at verification. Now, a growing body of studies aimed at replicating previously published results is revealing the situation to be worse than feared, with appallingly low rates of reproducibility calling into question whether research findings as reported in the professional literature can plausibly be taken to constitute scientific “knowledge.”
On Friday, Nov. 6, 9:15-10:30 a.m. in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, faculty from regional research institutions will consider the nature, causes and implications of what has been termed the “crisis” in research.
The roundtable, under the title, “Does Science Work? The ‘Crisis’ in Research Integrity, Transparency, and Reproducibility,” will examine issues such as:
- bias in publication, that is, the preference of journal editors and conference organizers for results deemed statistically significant;
- the resulting phenomenon of “P-hacking” or “P-mining,” the serial application of different statistical methods or sets of variables until the desired result is achieved;
- the growing temptation of fraud and falsification as the proliferation of publication venues and the sheer number of published studies reduces the risk of detection; and
- the possible consequences of mainstream media attention to the issue in terms of diminished public confidence in science, a weaker voice for science in shaping discourse on social issues and public policy, and the devaluation of scientific careers.
Discussants include David Amberg (biochemistry and molecular biology), Vice President for Research at SUNY Upstate Medical University; Carl D’Angio (pediatrics, medical humanities and bioethics), co-director of the graduate Research Ethics course at the University of Rochester Medical Center; Neil Ringler (environmental and forest biology), Vice Provost for Research at SUNY-ESF; and Gregory Robinson (political science), Binghamton University. Evelyn Brister, (philosophy of science), Rochester Institute of Technology, will moderate the discussion.
The event, part of the Future Professoriate Program ‘Topics in Higher Ed’ series, is supported by the Office of Research and held in conjunction with the Graduate Forum on Research Methodologies. Coffee, tea, and light breakfast fare will be served.
URL: “Does Science Work? The ‘Crisis’ in Research Integrity, Transparency, and Reproducibility”
Contact: Glenn Wright, Graduate School