Most people agree that there’s a major problem with reproducibility of scientific studies. In fact, it’s been estimated that as much as HALF of scientific studies are producing results that cannot be replicated. We wanted to know more about this problem, what is contributing to it, and how we can fix it.
So, thanks to support from the National Institutes of Health, we’ve created a special, 8-episode podcast series on this topic: Science culture and reproducibility.
We talk to funders, journalists, and scientists from various backgrounds and at various career stages to try and outline what the issues are. We spend an episode digging into the incentives built into the system of academia and the pressure on scientists to produce big, splashy, positive results. We touch on the often troubled ways in which we use statistics. We zero in on grant writing and funding practices and the ways in which universities depend on their faculty getting grants. We pick apart journals, peer-review, and publishing practices and expectations as a whole, highlighting our problematic obsession with bibliometrics. We examine the role the media has to play in science culture and in holding science accountable, and we ask questions about the way we mentor young scientists, including the pressures they face and the career options for which they’re trained. And then after all that we ask our experts: What can we do about it?
As of today the first 3 episodes are available on our website or anywhere you get your podcasts. The remaining episodes will drop one per week from here on out. We’ve also created free, downloadable lesson guides (also available on our website) if you’d like to take this discussion to the classroom or to your lab meetings. There are also comment sections on the website if you’d like to start a discussion there. And if you like the series, share it far and wide!