Replication challenges

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Science  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6457, pp. 957
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz2701

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  • RE: Replication challenges

    I was excited to see this editorial. Not that lack of reproducibility in published science excites me (quite the opposite) but the fact that the issue is brought forward. Looking through history, reproducibility of results and observations was at the core of what swayed opinions and created modern science - one of the earliest was the confirmation of Tycho Brahe's observations that shattered the notion of immutability of the sky. Joseph Priestly, in 18th century, pushed for experiments that can easily be reproduced by everybody so that all can observe the facts and reveal scientific truth. On the other side, the opposition to Lavoisier's early work was at least partly due to the inability of others to reproduce his observations-they simply did not have as sensitive equipment as Lavoisier's.And there is, of course, Boyle's trouble with his air pump and Hobbes' subsequent vehement criticism of experiment in general. It is exactly due to the work of these and numerous other early scientists that we take reproducibility as one of fundamental pillars of science - little progress would have been possible if yesterday's observations could not be repeated today. The science became the robust enterprise, able of self-correcting. Unfortunately, every redacted paper, and every research ethics investigation undermine this foundation of science. The respectability of scientific enterprise is also at stake here - by now we should be acutely aware of public...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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