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A discussion on the reliability of scientific research

A discussion on the reliability of scientific research

Nine years after John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, authored the paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” in PLoS Medicine, the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford has launched to advance scientific research by studying and rigorously evaluating practices and applying knowledge to improve the way research is conducted.

Ioannidis and Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD, co-directors of the new center, discussed the present reliability of scientific research findings on Friday’s Forum. They joined host Dave Iverson and University of Virginia law professor Barbara Spellman, JD, PhD, to explain how gaps in understanding can occur between data and the conclusions drawn from them, how evidence from a small study might fail the test of reproducibility in larger studies, and why what the media chooses to highlight might represent only a slice of a study’s truth.

The guests noted that longevity of findings and collaboration among scientists to verify results contribute to sound science. Ioannidis said this about flashy headlines: “For the general public, some good advice is that if this is the first time you’re hearing about this, this is great, it may be fascinating – but maybe wait a little bit to see what comes next.”

Previously: New Stanford center aims to promote research excellenceThe Lancet documents waste in research, proposes solutions“U.S. effect” leads to publication of biased research, says Stanford’s John Ioannidis and Shaky evidence moves animal studies to humans, according to Stanford-led study

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