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Why failure to replicate findings can actually be good for science

Why failure to replicate findings can actually be good for science

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool,” physicist Richard Feynman famously told the young scientists graduating from CalTech in 1974. Fully cognizant of this truth, the scientific establishment has developed many rules and procedures to weed out false findings from experiments, key among them replication.

Replication means that an experiment can be repeated over and over, by the original researcher or any other competent scientist in the field, and it will produce the same or similar result. Now, science is in the midst of a “replication failure” crisis — at least according to scores of...

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