Does the Reproducibility Project in Cancer Biology Offer a Model for a New Kind of Science Auditing?

Nicole Perfito,Manager, Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology


Listen 0:00 First large scale project to reproduce cancer research (5:20)

Listen 5:20 Insufficient method sections (2:42)

Listen 8:02 Contaminated cell lines (3:31)

Listen 11:33 Author responses (5:45)

Listen 17:19 An auditing department for science (6:27)

Here on the show, we’ve talked about the lack of reproducibility for much of biological research. We’ve bandied around various percentages--is it 50% or up to 90% that can't be replicated? And we’ve poked around various issues that may be causing such poor science.

Nicole Perfito is the manager of the Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology, an effort between Science Exchange and the Center for Open Science. The goal of this project is to take nearly forty “high impact” papers in the field of cancer and try to replicate them.

The team has reproduced several studies already. What are the main issues that are coming up? How helpful are the original authors being? And are there some low hanging fruit which might lead to dramatic improvements to research if adopted?

The project is still underway, but already Nicole and her team have some interesting hunches.

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