Nautilus

Why We Shouldn’t Accept Unrepeated Science—Our Author Responds to His Critics

Last month a long thread evolved on Hacker News, a popular discussion forum, in response to my Nautilus article, “We Should Not Accept Scientific Results That Have Not Been Repeated.” Much to my delight, it generated a rich conversation involving scientists and non-scientists alike. That’s fitting, since our inability to independently replicate our results, I argue, threatens to undermine trust in the scientific enterprise—something every citizen has a stake in.

Before I respond to the arguments against my position from the Hacker News community, allow me to quickly summarize my view. I think the irreproducibility crisis we are currently witnessing needs to be seen in a particular light. Specifically, the crisis is an unintended consequence of the misalignment between

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