How defective science harms public policy and damages our public schools

FPM: “Most Americans don’t even know that the crisis exists,” explain David Randall and Christopher Welser of the National Association of Scholars. Help has now arrived in The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science: Cause, Consequences and the Road to Reform. The general reader might find the title puzzling but the concept is simple.

If a scientific study is to be legitimate, it must be reproducible because replication allows examination of the data and the possibility of different conclusions. If the study is not reproducible it is not really science, and as the authors show, that type of non-science is now common.

In June of 2016, Oona Lönnstedt and Peter Eklöv of Uppsala University published a paper in Science warning of the dangers of microplastic particles in the ocean. The study got considerable media attention but as it turned out, “Lönnstedt never performed the research that she and Eklöv reported.” So in philosophical terms, it had an existential problem, and veracity is also an issue.

In 2005, Dr. John Ioannidis argued, “shockingly and persuasively,” that most published research findings in his own field of medicine were false. This was due to many factors, including the limitations of statistics, “intellectual prejudices and conflicts of interest,” and researchers striving to produce positive results “in fashionable areas of research.” Based on these factors, the findings in other scientific fields were probably wrong too.  more here

12 Comments on How defective science harms public policy and damages our public schools

  1. OT
    Disclaimer I’m on the west coast, however Tucker Carlson is rumored to be airing a Pro AR-15 commercial on his show tonight. If you’ve seen it, give some 411, if not, watch for it.

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  2. @refuse/resist April 30, 2018 at 11:50 pm
    The e-coli experiment at Michigan State is an example. It was a 30 year experiment (it may still be ongoing) to get a mutation to happen in continuous new generations of the bug. They thought they hit paydirt at about the 32,000th generation. Something changed, they said. The bugs were able to digest citrate which was forced on them as the only food provided.

    It turns out they had to admit that the ability to digest citrate was a “historical contingency” which means the ability to east citrate was already established in the e-coli.

    30 years of grant money to find out a microorganism could thrive on something it was always capable of eating and digesting.

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  3. We don’t do science anymore. We do critical science theory. WTH is that, you ask…

    “The meta-scientific investigation of the various kinds of influence which determine both the establishment of the cultural institution of science and criteria governing its internal operations, including criteria of the concepts of cognition has been termed by Professor Jürgen Habermas as the critical theory of science. The five-fold thesis of his theory treats of what he considers to be the extrascientific interests which determine and accompany our traditional concepts of knowledge as characterized by science…………..”

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01801068

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