The Irreproducibility Crisis Claims Another Victim

Chance Layton

Brian Wansink lost his job after a review of his 25-year career. David Randall, NAS director of research, writing for the Wall Street Journal explains: the report found “he had committed a litany of academic breaches: ‘misreporting of research data, problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results’ and more.”

So how to prevent scientific fraud? David offers another solution:

A generation of Mr. Wansink’s journal editors and fellow scientists failed to notice anything wrong with his research—a powerful indictment of the current system of academic peer review, in which only subject-matter experts are invited to comment on a paper before publication. Mr. Wansink’s resignation, on the other hand, points to the possibility of a cross-disciplinary approach to evaluating the reproducibility of scientific research. This new approach could even include criticism by nonscientists.

Institutions, such as Cornell where Wansink worked, appear to be taking this so-called crisis seriously. Perhaps even other colleges and universities will follow suit with investigations. Most helpful would be institutions pushing researchers to be transparent and follow established methods for producing reproducible science.

 


Image: By sach1tb - https://www.flickr.com/photos/sach1tb/274991658/, CC BY-SA 2.0

  • Share

Most Commented

March 16, 2022

1.

Exclusive: Association of American Medical Colleges to Propose DEI Curriculum Standards

The Association of American Medical Colleges plans to release “diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies” that will force students and faculty to embrace social justice......

May 12, 2022

2.

Mornin’ Ralph, Mornin’ Sam in Anthropology Today

Professor Lowrey recounts her latest encounter with academic cancel culture, this time with an acceptance-turned-rejection at Anthropology Today....

November 24, 2021

3.

1619 Again: Revisiting the Project's Troubled Past

New York Times editor Jake Silverstein's new essay on the 1619 Project attempts to glide past the awkwardness that accompanied the project’s early days. Let's set the reco......

Most Read

May 12, 2022

1.

Mornin’ Ralph, Mornin’ Sam in Anthropology Today

Professor Lowrey recounts her latest encounter with academic cancel culture, this time with an acceptance-turned-rejection at Anthropology Today....

April 5, 2022

2.

How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....

May 15, 2015

3.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....