If you keep up with health or science news, you’ve probably been whipsawed between conflicting reports. Just days apart you may hear that “science says” coffee’s good for you, no actually it’s bad for you, actually red wine holds the secret to long life. As comedian John Oliver put it:
“After a certain point, all that ridiculous information can make you wonder: is science bullshit? To which the answer is clearly no. But there is a lot of bullshit currently masquerading as science.”
A big part of this problem has to do with what’s been called a “reproducibility crisis” in science – many studies if run a second time don’t come up with the same results. Scientists are worried about this situation, and high-profile international research journals have raised the alarm, too, calling on researchers to put more effort into ensuring their results can be reproduced, rather than only striving for splashy, one-off outcomes.