The Experiment Essay

But many, if not most, scientists are aware of the seriousness of the replication crisis and fear its corrosive effects on public trust in science. One potential solution is preregistration, in which researchers beginning a study publish their analysis plan before collecting their data.Preregistration can be seen as a sort of time-reversed replication, a firewall against “data dredging,” the inclination to go looking for results when your first idea doesn’t pan out. The replication crisis in science is often presented as an issue of scientific procedure or integrity.When you read about research in the news media (and, as a taxpayer, you are indirectly a funder of research, too), you should ask what exactly is being measured, and why.If the exploratory and discovery nature of science captivates you, there may be no better way to share your enthusiasm than to write an essay about a science experiment and share it with others.At this point, it is hardly a surprise to learn that even top scientific journals publish a lot of low-quality work — not just solid experiments that happen, by bad luck, to have yielded conclusions that don’t stand up to replication, but poorly designed studies that had no real chance of succeeding before they were ever conducted. That paper got cited by other scientists a few thousand times — before failed replications many years later made it clear that this finding, and much of the subsequent literature, was little more than researchers chasing patterns in noise. In 1996, a psychology study claimed that unobtrusive priming — the insertion of certain innocuous words in a quiz — could produce consistent behavioral change.In fact, it might be appropriate to use some scientific jargon to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.

The big problem in science is not cheaters or opportunists, but sincere researchers who have unfortunately been trained to think that every statistically “significant” result is notable.

For example, if your purpose is to show that science experiments are unpredictable and exciting, an upbeat, positive tone will help convey your enthusiasm.

Consider the difference in energy between the statements “Science students should expect the unexpected” and “We not only learned to expect the unexpected, but we also made the words our team mantra.

Similar prediction markets have been used for many years for elections, mimicking the movement of the betting line in sports.

Basically, the results in this instance indicated that informed scientists were clear from the get-go that what they were reading would not hold up. There has been resistance to fixing it, some of which has come from prominent researchers at leading universities.

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