According to a 2013 report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, $115 billion is spent annually in the United States on life science research. Fifty percent of this total is spent on preclinical research, half of which—$28 billion—is not reproducible.
Panelists discuss reproducibility, data-sharing, and encouraging early-career researchers at this year’s World Science Forum.
According to the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, who is linked to bioethics through his bioethicist brother Ezekiel Emanuel, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste." In this case the crisis is the reproducibility of published results in the biological and medical sciences. According to a recent comment in Nature, "An unpublished 2015 survey by the American Society for Cell Biology found that more than two-thirds of respondents had on at least one occasion been unable to reproduce published results. Biomedical researchers from drug companies have reported that one-quarter or fewer of high-profile papers are reproducible."
The Academy of Medical Sciences has published a new joint report on how the reproducibility and reliability of research can be improved. Recent reports in the general and scientific media show there is increasing concern within the biomedical research community about the lack of reproducibility of key research findings.
The MRC and a group of partner organisations have today published a report and joint statement about the reproducibility and reliability of research, and what can be done to improve them. Here, Jim Smith, MRC Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy, thinks about how discussions of reproducibility offer us the opportunity to improve the way science is done.