Science in Hand: How Craft informs Lab Work - an essay on the value of precise experimentation and its relevance to science (ir)reproducibility.
Roger Kneebone, Claudia Schlegel and Alan C. Spivey, 'Science in hand: how art and craft can boost reproducibility', Nature, 2018, 564, 188-189 DOI: 10.1038/d41586-018-07676-4
A 2016 Nature feature on the ‘reproducibility crisis’ showed that 70% of 1500 scientists had tried and failed to reproduce another group’s experiments, while more than half were unable to reproduce their own work. Among many possible reasons, such as the cherry-picking of data and selective reporting of results, is the practical doing of experiments. Even shaking rather than stirring a sample can lead to different outcomes. Yet such minutiae are often overlooked. In this essay we suggest that systematic exploration with experts outside science can bring unexpected insights and address some of these challenges.
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Professor Alan C Spivey
Department of Chemistry