Video: Shifting Sands Launch

National Association of Scholars

Download the Slideshow

Read the Video Transcript

Modern science suffers from an irreproducibility crisis in a wide range of disciplines, from public health to social psychology. Far too frequently, scientists cannot replicate claims made in published research. This poses serious questions to policymakers. How many federal regulations reflect irreproducible, flawed, and unsound research? How many grant dollars have funded irreproducible research? In short, how many government regulations based on irreproducible science limit America’s freedom and prosperity?

On Thursday, May 20th the National Association of Scholars launched a new project, Shifting Sands: Unsound Science and Unsafe Regulation. This series of reports examines how irreproducible science affects select areas of government policy and regulation governed by different federal agencies. This first report on PM2.5 Regulation focuses on irreproducible research in the field of environmental epidemiology, which informs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies and regulations. It assesses scientific research that associates airborne fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) with mortality, heart attacks, and asthma.

Over the last 40 years, the EPA has slowly imposed increasingly restrictive air quality regulations based on research sponsored by the agency. However, the scientific world’s professional incentives reward exciting research with new, positive (significant association) claims—but not reproducible research. This encourages researchers, wittingly or negligently, to use a variety of statistical practices to produce research that blows wind into the sails of their careers with little regard for the reproducibility of their experiments.

Watch this report launch for a conversation on how government agencies and public policy are harmed by the irreproducibility crisis. The discussion will also include recommendations to bring public agency methodologies into alignment with the best available science by adopting resampling methods and transparent research.

This event features the report authors, NAS Director of Research, David Randall; Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta-Edmonton, Warren Kindzierski; and Director of the Shifting Sands Project, Stanley Young. Additional speakers include Jay Lehr, Director of Science at the Heartland Institute; Steve Milloy, founder of; and Donald van der Vaart, former North Carolina Secretary of Environmental Quality.

  • Share

Most Commented

December 7, 2022


New Study Tracks Rise of DEI in STEM Departments, Associations, Grants, and Literature

A new study published today by the National Association of Scholars, Ideological Intensification, offers an in-depth quantitative analysis of just how far DEI has advanced into STEM fields....

January 9, 2023


NAS Celebrates the Nomination of Reform-Minded Trustees to the New College of Florida Board

The National Association of Scholars is delighted with Governor Ron DeSantis’ nomination of six education reformers to the Board of Trustees of the New College of Florida....

October 20, 2022


NAS Statement on Nomination of Ben Sasse for University of Florida President

We believe that Senator Sasse would make an excellent president of the University of Florida, and we urge the Board of Trustees to follow the search committee’s recommendation....

Most Read

May 15, 2015


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....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

January 5, 2023


NAS Condemns the Attacks against Jordan Peterson

The National Association of Scholars condemns the unrelenting illiberal attacks being levied against Dr. Peterson and against anyone who dares push back against the enemies of intellectual f......