Making Scientific Inferences More Objective: Replication and Scientific Self-Correction

Monday, February 20, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
Room 310 (Hynes Convention Center)
Jan Sprenger, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands
Felipe Romero, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands, The Netherlands
The label "objective" marks science as unbiased and grounds the authority of science in society. The objectivity of science depends on its self-corrective character. However, this self-corrective character faces several problems in practice. Replication is essential to scientific self-correction, but many findings in the behavioral sciences and biomedical research do not replicate. To increase replicability, this talk suggests that scientific communities need to adopt “self-corrective labor schemes” in which replication labor is systematic, independent, and sustainable. Based on these three criteria, we can evaluate extant self-corrective scheme proposals. Finally, we defend a scheme that rewards replication labor as a service and outside science’s novelty-based reward system. This scheme satisfies the criteria better than the extant proposals. The talk concludes discussing policy challenges for the implementation of self-corrective labor schemes.