It may very well be confirmation bias, which would be telling, a strange loop or bootstrapping kinda phenomenon rather than some real change out there, but the science business hanky panky finally seems to be getting more attention in mainstream media. It’s been a fancy of mine for quite a while. Until recently my impression was that this particular example of my general meta-obsession was largely ignored by science popularizers and journalists. But retractions, replicability, p-hacking, open data and other, what always felt like arcane, subjects, make it into the broader public domain. Until recently I used to file it all under publication bias, but that is a synecdochic label. The trouble is widespread, way beyond publication bias.
This post serves to document my intention to spend some more time on this fancy and try to bring its various strands together into one picture.
By way of intro, I share a short video with one of the researchers who managed to get broad coverage for her particular strand:
And while I’m at it, why not this great visualization:
Part of the tragedy of the system being such a distorted version of its intended self is that it wastes so much of its actors, turning much of what could be meaningful work into bullshit jobs. Enough of us do such jobs already. No need to add to that.
As 99% of you will not click though to David Graeber‘s piece, let me end with work that is everything but bullshit, although many may visualize something like this when hearing the term for the first time.