An Irreproducibility Crisis

In 2012, the biotechnology firm Amgen could only replicate 6 out 53 “landmark” studies in hematology and oncology. That finding was not unusual. In the last 15 years, study after study has revealed that a great deal of peer-reviewed published scientific research fails the test of other researchers, using the same methods, finding the same results. This has been dubbed the “reproducibility crisis.”

How much of a crisis? In 2005, Dr. John Ioannidis, now of Stanford, estimated that as much as half of published research findings in biomedicine are probably false. In some other fields it may be worse. The research on which concepts such as “stereotype threat,” “power poses,” and “implicit bias,” for example, reproduce badly if at all.

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