This is how things get better…

This is a time of especially intense self-examination in science, a time when the “replication crisis” is rapidly changing our ideas of how to conduct quality research.  As our best practices have changed, we look at prior research in a new and often quite critical light.  Certainly, when established results don’t replicate or are called out for what we now know are problematic research practices, this can feel intensely critical and dispiriting for the original authors.

When criticism comes our way, it never feels great.  But we have to make a decision of where to go from there: if we will simply be defensive and dismissive, or if we will find ways to grapple with criticism and find ways to respond.

On that note, here is short essay that can serve as a model for how to respond to criticism. It comes from Daniel Lakens, who has emerged as real leader in the efforts to improve science, and it tells how he came into this role by grappling seriously with intense criticism of one of his most cited papers.  It’s an incredible story, and it shows the way forward out of the replication crisis: by working hard to do even better.

Check out the post here:



I'm a teacher, researcher, and gadfly of neuroscience. My research interests are in the neural basis of learning and memory, the history of neuroscience, computational neuroscience, bibliometrics, and the philosophy of science. I teach courses in neuroscience, statistics, research methods, learning and memory, and happiness. In my spare time I'm usually tinkering with computers, writing programs, or playing ice hockey.

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