In our May/June 2014 issue, Jerry Adler wrote in “The Reformation” about a new push by social scientists to police their colleagues’ work for flawed research practices. The reformers have called for more study replication, a thankless, often-neglected stage of scientific progress. This past May, a team from the University of California–Berkeley reported that they were not able to replicate a groundbreaking, widely covered 2014 study that found that a conversation with a gay canvasser could change a person’s attitude about gay marriage. The influential journal Science, which published the original paper, later claimed that it included misrepresentations and false information, and issued a retraction. (The accused researcher, Michael LaCour, has only admitted to some of the lesser accusations.) Figures from the reform movement that Adler profiled have renewed their calls for expanding controversial checks and balances on research, such as post-publication data sharing and peer review.
Since We Last Spoke examines the latest policy and research updates to past Pacific Standard news coverage.
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