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Idea: Science literature would be better off with fewer claims and more proof?

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Yes, if you want credibility. From William G. Kaelin Jr at Nature:

worry about sloppiness in biomedical research: too many published results are true only under narrow conditions, or cannot be reproduced at all. The causes are diverse, but what I see as the biggest culprit is hardly discussed. Like the proverbial boiled frog that failed to leap from a slowly warming pot of water, biomedical researchers are stuck in a system in which the amount of data and number of claims in individual papers has gradually risen over decades. Moreover, the goal of a paper seems to have shifted from validating specific conclusions to making the broadest possible assertions. The danger is that papers are increasingly like grand mansions of straw, rather than sturdy houses of brick. More.

Sure, but then what would happen to pop science journalism?

Of course, we could always try simple enforcement of “sciencey-ness.”

See also: Marchin’, marchin’ for Science (Hint: the problems are back at your desk, not out in the streets)

and

How naturalism rots science from the head down Follow UD News at Twitter!

One Reply to “Idea: Science literature would be better off with fewer claims and more proof?

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    worry about sloppiness in biomedical research

    Don’t forget about the Biggest Conceptual Hot Mess in the history of, well… history.

    -Climate Science-

    Where there’s no scientific definition of climate and no science.

    What’s the deal?

    Andrew

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