The Inevitable Evolution of Bad Science

9/21/2016 - Professor of Psychology Simine Vazire in The Atlantic.

Bacteria, animals, languages, cancers: all of these things can evolve, which we know from the work of legions of scientists. You could argue that science itself also evolves.  Researchers vary in their methods and attitudes, in ways that affect their success, and they pass those traits to the students they train. Over time, the very culture of science is sculpted by natural selection—and according to Paul Smaldino and Richard McElreath, it is headed in an unenviable direction.

Putting a premium on transparency can help, says Simine Vazire, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis. “If authors are required to disclose more details about their research, journals and reviewers will be in a better position to evaluate the quality of studies, and it will be much harder for authors to game the system.”

Read the full story in The Atlantic.