As of five years ago, the replication crisis was barely a cloud on the horizon. Today, large scale efforts to reproduce important studies in the social sciences have indicated that this crisis is undeniable, and it is massive in scale.
Yesterday, two fascinating pieces of work were published. First, a paper by Smaldino and McElreath sets forth a thesis explaining mechanisms behind the (continued) proliferation of “bad science”. And second, a detailed, thoughtful rebuttal by Andrew Gelman to Susan Fiske’s upcoming article for the APS Observer.
It is not surprising that this discussion has brought with it a significant amount of controversy. After all, as Gelman writes, “If you’d been deeply invested in the old system, it must be pretty upsetting to think about change.” Perhaps this controversy will bring about a necessary redefinition of best practices not only in conducting and reporting research, but in incentivizing researchers to engage in good science.