Associate Professor, Psychology
University of California, Davis
Do we want to be credible or incredible?
What makes a scientific claim credible? Historically, we have relied on various safeguards against high levels of false positive results, such as counting on peer review to catch most errors, waiting for consensus among experts before trusting a claim, or waiting until claims are considered textbook-worthy. However, recent events suggest that even these safeguards may not provide much protection against failures to replicate. I will argue that we should trust scientific claims more to the extent that they were produced by communities that have the hallmarks of credibility. These hallmarks include transparency in the research and peer review process, investment in error detection and quality control, and an emphasis on calibration rather than popularization. Fields that are more transparent, rigorous, and calibrated should earn more trust. Meta-science can provide the public with valuable information in assessing the credibility of scientific fields.
The presentation will begin at 3:30pm. A happy hour reception will follow.