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The Forum > Article Comments > Why isnít more research reproducible? > Comments

Why isnít more research reproducible? : Comments

By Don Aitkin, published 30/4/2018

At the heart of the problem is a failure both to follow good research design practices and to understand statistics properly.

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I'm not sure of your point, Don?

I brought up Google Scholar and typed in "micro plastic in oceans"

There were 57,300 results in 0.08 sec.

https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=micro+plastic+in+oceans&btnG=

Then added "micro plastic in oceans ingested by creatures" and came up with about 17,500 results in 0.07 sec.

https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=micro+plastic+in+oceans+ingested+by+creatures&btnG=

We know that some plastics break down over time, it becomes very brittle and breaks down into very small particles. There are many biopsies completed on fish and birds showing how the death of those creatures was through the ingestion of plastics.

We have the Royal Commission into Banks at present, do we now conclude that all Bankers are criminal; or, is it a case of a percentage at management levels are corrupt or criminal.

The underlying point your article suggests is that because a couple of researchers were found to have provided corrupt science; therefore, most science is based on false premises or misuse statistics.

Digging a bit deeper:

The National Association of Scholars is a conservative group involved with an interest in education. Being conservative; are they libertarians or some other neoliberal group?

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-different-kind-of-politics_us_588a0155e4b06558f8e94e81

I notice that the NAS is in denial about climate change.
They support Scott Pruitt in de-regulation of the EPA.
They support Trump.

A comment that jumped out from NAS reference provided by Don ... "A growing number of scientists now reject the idea of statistical significance altogether."
So is heresay a better standard to use, or maybe "gut feeling", than using statistical significance.
Posted by ant, Monday, 30 April 2018 10:49:21 AM
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The very foundation stone of good science is test results that can be endlessly replicated and the inherent integrity of researchers to do honest replicable research. And a huge responsibility that may well have lives and person fortunes hanging in the balance. And where this isn't so, fraud or quackery that has to be called for what it is by those for whom their personal integrity/ self-respect, counts for more than mere money! this fraud self-evident all over the alleged scientific community? Wih more than a few able to ignore evidence-based research for patent personal mercenary reasons? Thus we have climate change denialists claiming current warming is just normal and cyclical? Even though irrefutable historical evidence tells us that a sun in a waning phase (ours) may well produce a new ice age or cooling period but never ever a warming tend replete with exponentially expanding polar and glacial ice melts! When good historical evidence tells us the very opposite ought to be happening! It seems almost every scientist or alleged researcher has his/her price, thus we had those employed by big tobacco, the asbestos industry and now the fossil fuel industry telling two completely counter prevailing stories? One for the mugs out there in mugsville and another to their employer/paymaster! Nothing wrong with good science, just the honesty and inherent integrity of a few claiming fellowships? No names, no pack drill. Apologies for the lack of paragraphs. Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 30 April 2018 10:57:08 AM
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I canít speak for medical discoveries but certainly the Social Sciences are producing extremely misleading studies, especially around sexual orientation and children issues.
The internet is full of studies claiming children do as well, if not better with same sex couples, yet an in depth look at those studies reveals exactly how non scientific they are.
The vast majority of those studies are small, not random selected participants, no control group and depending on answers given by parents.
So, major decisions are being made based on studies that are nothing more than volunteer parents filling in forms relating to their perception of how their children are faring in the various areas of life.
The two large studies that actually used scientifically based methodology with data taken from government departments were attacked so viciously no one can use their results without being shredded personally. Those two large studies are also difficult to find via Google.
To me this just shows so called researchers are merely producing papers that confirm beliefs held by noisy activists, and none stand up to even small scrutiny.
Posted by Big Nana, Monday, 30 April 2018 12:13:09 PM
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Least of all, the often spurious claims of big Nana, who as a scientist practising scientific rigour, cherry picks those so-called scientific articles/papers, that fail peer review, but not the wishes of the also-ran, homophobic community. As a midwife makes an excellent all knowing suppository of all medical wisdom. And knows in her own hand that one can pick and chose their genes as easily as others would change their attire. Today,e.g., I'm black but don't care much for that skin colour. So tomorrow I'm going to ask Big Nana, who knows, how one changes the genetic circumstances of birth, (her published claim just days ago) so I can be just another white fella. When one replies to a suggestion to google Alan Sanders, highly credentialled geneticist for scientific proof that homosexuality in all its forms and guises is fixed in your chromosomes before birth. What will I find? Those that reject evidence-based research simply refuse to look! The way most of the wider medical community did when two Noble Prize-winning, West Australian researchers proved that bacteria rather than stomach acid caused ulcers. Scientific research is best done by those seeking the truth rather than those with an inflexible predisposition and own their own facts as demonstrated by, I will not see, Big Nana, who could be a bloke using a female pen name? Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 30 April 2018 4:32:18 PM
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"There are many biopsies completed on fish and birds showing how the death of those creatures was through the ingestion of plastics." says ant, but fails to give any proof.

You will have to get these biopsies published on U tube in video form if you really expect people to believe them. Most of us trust a used car salesman more than an academic today. Their word is useless without public evidence.

There is far too much of this secret science, that "everyone knows about" but has never produced any evidence to support the so called findings.

The climate science scam has opened too many eyes for academia to be able to continue wasting bucket loads of public funds on their rubbish.

It is very brave of Don to tell so much of the growing rot in academia. It must be costing him some friends. We thank you Don for lifting the lid of the cesspool that we are paying for.
Posted by Hasbeen, Monday, 30 April 2018 9:03:42 PM
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One issue I've heard on the issue of responsible science is to know where the money comes from. If it's university studies what is supporting the grant money? As far as I'm aware there isn't that much money deticated to replicate other studies. (Unless those studies have a spotlight in them or potential for more funds in them). So how do we expect the studies to be replicated?

The other angle is regarding privite industry studies. These studies might be more reliable on the reasoning that they want a product that works, and therefore will sell once it's on the market, but their studies are more privite to protect patents and inovenation. The money put into these have to be regulatedly forced to be shown or they will be kept secret for a new computer patent or a new drug patent. As well as to keep the industries honest and not sell something that is't what they claim it is.

Either way it's worth mentioning the angle of money. Expecially for who would pay for studies to be retested to confirm the results.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 1 May 2018 4:11:13 AM
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