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The Cost of Correcting Bad Science

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To be trustworthy and rigorous, science must be correctable. If scientific claims are not adequately validated or confirmed, time and money are misspent, true or chance findings are difficult to separate, and public trust in expertise is eroded. However, the ability to correct the scientific record is not always possible because the act of correction is pitted against inappropriate cultural norms or vested interests.

Science is an activity that is dependent on economic demands. In academia, there is a highly competitive job market, with scarce opportunities for research funding. Hiring and promotion criteria rely on publication and grant-funding track records, which means verifying evidence can come second to the next publishable and lucrative ‘groundbreaking’ research. Inevitably, criticism can make career prospects even more precarious, with significant costs to those who attempt to criticise and – in particular – whistleblow.

However, is the status quo fixed? Is the environment, in fact, conducive to rigorous science? Is there no room for improvement? To explore these and many more questions, an esteemed panel has been brought together to discuss the issues at the heart of why we struggle to correct bad science.

In what promises to be an exciting joint conversation from different perspectives of the research lifecycle and career stage, our panelists will discuss the barriers to correcting bad science and the costs borne by those who have tried to. The aim is to raise awareness and to instigate a discussion on how to substantiate the ability to correct science when necessary.

In affiliation with ReproducibiliTea, RIOT Science Club, and The Crick Institute, it gives us great pleasure in inviting you to The Cost of Correcting Bad Science!