Toolkit: Making Science Reproducible

National Association of Scholars

Scientific studies should be reproducible—especially if they are used to justify government regulations. But NAS’s report, The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science, released earlier this year, found that many supposedly scientific results cannot be reproduced in subsequent investigations.

We believe that individual scientists, the federal government, and state legislatures must take steps to promote reliable, reproducible science. And we believe that all Americans should be equipped with basic statistics and other tools to recognize faulty science when they see it.

Today at 3:00 PM Eastern we will host a conference call to discuss the irreproducibility crisis in modern science and what can be done about it.

What: Conference call on the irreproducibility crisis in modern science
When: Wednesday, October 31, 3:00-4:00 PM Eastern
Where: Call in to 1-800-617-7801 and use the conference code 3534925

Below, we also provide a toolkit of four practical ways to promote replicable, reliable science.

  1. Support Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science would provide the first concrete measure to require the Federal Government to use reproducible (publicly accessible) science to inform policy. In our public comment to the EPA, the NAS has proposed a Transparent Science Guidance Document as one way to protect against basing policies on irreproducible studies.

We encourage NAS members to write to acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler, the White House, their Representatives and Senators, and their local papers, to rally public support for strengthening transparency in regulatory science.

Download NAS’s template letter on strengthening transparency >

See all members of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology >

See all members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation >

Find your members of Congress >  

Write to Andrew Wheeler, Acting Administrator of the EPA at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460.

Write to Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy, at Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 1650 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20504.

  1. Support a Reproducible Science Reform Act

The federal government should use reproducible (publicly accessible) science to inform public legislation. The Reproducible Science Reform Act (RFRA)—an updated version of the proposed HONEST Act—would require federal agencies to rely on reproducible science when making rules with an economically significant impact.

We encourage NAS members to write to members of the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology, and of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, to urge them to support such a bill.

We especially encourage NAS members to write to the House Committee to mention their support for a RFRA, since Representative Lamar Smith, the sponsor of the HONEST Act, will retire from Congress in January 2019.

Download NAS’s template letter on the Reproducible Science Reform Act >

See all members of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology >

See all members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation >

Find your members of Congress >  

  1. Support Funding Reproducibility Architecture

The federal government should prioritize scientific funding research for America’s “reproducibility architecture.” Federal science funding should shift toward 1) anonymizing existing research data, so it can be made reproducible; and 2) funding the hardware, software, and administrative costs that will allow researchers to create pre-registered research protocols and publicly accessible, properly reproducible data.

We encourage NAS members to write to members of the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology, and of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology, to urge them to support this funding shift.

Download NAS’s template letter on reproducibility architecture >

See all members of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology >

See all members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation >
 

  1. Support Increased Statistics Literacy

Americans should be literate in statistics, so that they can better judge whether scientific claims are properly substantiated. We support a required class in statistics literacy in public K-12 schools and a required class in basic statistics in state universities.

We encourage NAS members to get in touch with their state representatives, to ask them to support legislation to require basic statistics courses.

Download NAS’s letter on statistics literacy >

Further Reading:
The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science: Causes, Consequences, and the Road to Reform (2018)

The Irreproducibility Crisis Claims Another Victim” (2018)

Mice, P-hacking, and More Irreproducible Science” (2018)

Contact: David Randall, Director of Research, [email protected] | 917-551-6770

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