Nature deals with a lie of science

There are numerous lies in science. I don’t mean that to sound as bad as it does – I’m referring to the things that everyone accepts as a part of the way science is done, even though we don’t really believe them. “Impact factors are a good way to judge research”, for instance, would be one of my favourites.

One of the lies of science is that anyone should be able to replicate an experiment using the Methods section of an article. This is what we are taught as students, but you only have to read an article to see that it’s false. It’s always been so for journals such as Nature and Science who favour a brief, compressed style that focuses on results.

No longer. Nature are to provide expanded Methods sections both online and in print. Definitely a step forward.

One thought on “Nature deals with a lie of science

  1. I actually gave a talk yesterday where I commented on this. Specifically on the fact that about the only way to really find out how to do an experiment after reading a paper is to contact the author, since the paper doesn’t really tell you anything. As a student, I was naive enough, for a while at least, to think that the methods section was the most important part of the paper and that you actually learn a lot from it. I did, but just not quite the “lot” that one expected.

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