A voice from the urban wilderness:
WHEN Stuart Ritchie was a graduate student in Edinburgh, UK, in 2011, he was involved in an incident that shook his faith in science. With two colleagues, he tried and failed to replicate a famous experiment on precognition, the ability to see the future. They sent their results to the journal that published the original research and received an immediate rejection on the grounds that the journal didn’t accept studies that repeated previous experiments.Graham Lawton, “Stuart Ritchie interview: A deep rot is turning science into fiction” at New Scientist (subscription required)
Of course not. There isn’t a rubbish heap big enough, conceptually or otherwise.
Anyway, Ritchie went on to write a book, Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth (July 21, 2020).
From the publisher:
Stuart Ritchie’s own work challenging an infamous psychology experiment helped spark what is now widely known as the “replication crisis,” the realization that supposed scientific truths are often just plain wrong. Now, he reveals the very human biases, misunderstandings, and deceptions that undermine the scientific endeavor: from contamination in science labs to the secret vaults of failed studies that nobody gets to see; from outright cheating with fake data to the more common, but still ruinous, temptation to exaggerate mediocre results for a shot at scientific fame.
Yet Science Fictions is far from a counsel of despair. Rather, it’s a defense of the scientific method against the pressures and perverse incentives that lead scientists to bend the rules. By illustrating the many ways that scientists go wrong, Ritchie gives us the knowledge we need to spot dubious research and points the way to reforms that could make science trustworthy once again.
But now, here’s a problem: In the world of the war on math, what, exactly, is wrong with science fiction replacing science? If 2 + 2 does not necessarily = 4, how can we be expected to even know that bogosity is wrong?
Some of these people are pretty late grasping the implications of naturalism.