Science Isn’t Broken


In recent years, many questions have been raised on the validity of published papers in journals. The author in this needull argues that the reported cases of bogus papers being accepted for publication is a distraction. “But I’ve spent months investigating the problems hounding science, and I’ve learned that the headline-grabbing cases of misconduct and fraud are mere distractions. The state of our science is strong, but it’s plagued by a universal problem: Science is hard — really fucking hard.”

What makes science so powerful is that it’s self-correcting — sure, false findings get published, but eventually new studies come along to overturn them, and the truth is revealed. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But scientific publishing doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to self-correction. In 2010, Ivan Oransky, a physician and editorial director at MedPage Today, launched a blog called Retraction Watch with Adam Marcus, managing editor of Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News and Anesthesiology News. The two had been professional acquaintances and became friendly while covering the case against Scott Reuben, an anesthesiologist who in 2009 was caught faking data in at least 21 studies.

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Christie Aschwanden — FiveThirtyEight

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