Saturday, October 26, 2013


  1. Economist: Trouble at the lab. "Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not."

  2. Economist on science in China: Looks Good on Paper. "A flawed system for judging research is leading to academic fraud."

  3. Richard van Noorden in Nature: Brazilian citation scheme outed. "Thomson Reuters suspends journals from its rankings for ‘citation stacking’."

  4. Krutika Mallikarjuna at BuzzFeed: How to Science as Told by 17 Overly Honest Scientists.


  1. Vijay said...

    Thanks Abi for highlighting thIs. The Economist piece is substantially well-argued and deserves attention by all of us: As scientists, in our institutional evaluation structures, in journals and in research funding agencies. Interestingly, the articles highlight the life-sciences. This, perhaps, need more correcting than others. Coincidentally, the Department of Biotechnology has been formulating some ways of addressing some of the issues mentioned in the Economist article, particularly regarding preclinical research. Standardized platforms and steps requiring robust replication of experiments before taking candidate molecules to collaboration with industry is one step. But, the gorillas in the room are the key points in the article: i. "Understanding insignificance", see this animation :-)) ii. "Not even wrong" iii. "Blame the ref:" We’ve heard about the sting operations recently. iv. "Harder to clone than you would wish": The difficulties in reproducing results. Finally v: Making the paymasters care (funding agencies)
    Lots to do by all of us if we are to move from stating the problem to finding a solution. But, stating it in this way on the cover of a major newspaper is yet another wake-up call.