Lab’s Bissell Comments on Risks of the Replication Drive

November 26, 2013

The push to replicate research findings could shelve promising lines of inquiry and unfairly damage the reputations of careful, meticulous scientists, says Mina Bissell, Distinguished Scientist in the Life Sciences Division. Writing a commentary in the journal Nature, Bissell a renowned breast cancer researcher, expressed concern about a drive underway by NIH and others in the biological fields to have results replicated by an independent, self-appointed entity that will charge for the service. Although reproducibility is the bedrock of the scientific process, Bissell notes that those who try to repeat research often lack the time, funding, resources and expertise to do so. “It is sometimes much easier not to replicate than to replicate studies, because the techniques and reagents are sophisticated, time-consuming and difficult to master,” she says.

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