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正在遭遇重现危机的科学界 – 译学馆
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正在遭遇重现危机的科学界

Is there a reproducibility crisis in science? - Matt Anticole

【启点字幕组】
Light up the world
2011年 一个物理学家团队报告了一项令人震惊的发现
In 2011, a team of physicists reported a startling discovery:
中微子传播速度比光速还快
neutrinos traveled faster than the speed of light
它们从日内瓦传送至意大利的一个探测器仅需600亿分之一秒
by 60 billionths of a second
两者之间的距离是730公里
in their 730 kilometer trip from Geneva to a detector in Italy.
经过6个月的反复实验 这项发现依旧站得住脚
Despite six months of double checking, the bizarre discovery refused to yield.
但是科学家们并没有急于为此庆祝
But rather than celebrating a physics revolution,
他们只是发布了一则谨慎的声明
the researchers published a cautious paper
称还要继续研究 以解释其中观察到的异常现象
arguing for continued research in an effort to explain the observed anomaly.
没多久 他们发现失误是由于一根光纤电缆的连接错误
In time, the error was tracked to a single incorrectly connected fiber optic cable.
这个例子告诉我们 科学不仅仅是书面的研究报告
This example reminds us that real science is more than static textbooks.
然而 全世界的科学家们还在不断发布
Instead, researchers around the world are continuously publishing
他们最新的研究发现
their latest discoveries
每一份报告都细致严谨
with each paper adding to the scientific conversation.
公开的研究能鼓励他人进一步探索
Published studies can motivate future research,
启发思维 创造新产品
inspire new products,
促进政府出台相应政策
and inform government policy.
所以我们对已公开的研究成果怀有信心十分重要
So it’s important that we have confidence in the published results.
如果他们的结论是错误的
If their conclusions are wrong,
我们就会浪费时间
we risk time,
浪费资源
resources,
甚至是搭上自己的健康去踏上没有结局的道路
and even our health in the pursuit of false leads.
当新发现意义重大时
When findings are significant,
通常都会找其他的科学家反复核对
they are frequently double-checked by other researchers,
或者是重新分析数据
either by reanalyzing the data
或者重新进行整个实验
or by redoing the entire experiment.
就比如之前的例子 在发现连接错误之前
For example, it took repeated investigation of the CERN data
欧洲核子研究组织的数据经过了多次验算
before the timing error was tracked down.
不幸的是 目前没有资源也没有专门的奖励政策
Unfortunately, there are currently neither the resources nor professional incentives
鼓励人们对每年出版的多达上百万份的科学报告进行反复核实
to double check the more than 1 million scientific papers published annually.
即使报告内容受到质疑 其结果也不了了之
Even when papers are challenged, the results are not reassuring.
而最近的研究核查了许多已出版的制药论文
Recent studies that examined dozens of published pharmaceutical papers
只有不到25%的论文的结论被重现
managed to replicate the results of less than 25% of them.
其他科学领域结果与此类似
And similar results have been found in other scientific disciplines.
造成科学研究成果不可重现的原因有许多
There are a variety of sources for irreproducible results.
初始设计 实验操作或是数据分析的偏差都可能
Errors could hide in their original design, execution, or analysis of the data.
还有其它种种未知因素
Unknown factors,
例如医学研究中 患者没有详细透露自身情况
such as patients’ undisclosed condition in a medical study,
那么其他人在重新实验时可能得不到相同的结果
can produce results that are not repeatable in new test subjects.
有时 二次研究团队无法重现原始团队的结果
And sometimes, the second research group can’t reproduce the original results
只是因为他们无法确切地知道初始团队都做了什么
simply because they don’t know exactly what the original group did.
而且 有些问题可能是来自于系统决策
However, some problems might stem from systematic decisions
即我们该如何进行科学研究
in how we do science.
研究者们
Researchers,
是研究机构雇佣而来
the institutions that employ them,
刊登新发现的科学杂志
and the scientific journals that publish findings
往往期待着爆炸性新闻
are expected to produce big results frequently.
重大的论文报告可以推进事业发展
Important papers can advance careers,
吸引媒体注意
generate media interest,
获取奖金
and secure essential funding,
这样一来 就消减了科学家们重新检视自己重大研究成果的积极性 (因为结果可能不同 从而导致之前的成果被人质疑)
so there’s slim motivation for researchers to challenge their own exciting results.
此外 很少有激励措施去鼓励人们
In addition, little incentive exists
发布与预期假设不相符合的成果
to publish results unsupportive of the expected hypothesis.
这就导致了预期与新发现
That results in a deluge of agreement between what was expected
出奇的一致
and what was found.
极端情况下 甚至出现了蓄意作假
In rare occasions, this can even lead to deliberate fabrication,
例如2013年 一位科学家将人血混入兔子血
such as in 2013, when a researcher spiked rabbit blood with human blood
制造假证明来证实他的艾滋病疫苗有效
to give false evidence that his HIV vaccine was working.
这种急于求成的心态
The publish or perish mindset
违背了学术期刊传统的同侪审查制度
can also compromise academic journals’ traditional peer-review processes
这是一种安全检查
which are safety checks
由专家对提交的报告进行查错
where experts examine submitted papers for potential shortcomings.
而如今的体系下
The current system,
所谓的专家也就是那么一两个审稿人
which might involve only one or two reviewers,
用处不大
can be woefully ineffective.
这从1998年的一项研究中可以看出来
That was demonstrated in a 1998 study
研究人员在一份提交的报告中 故意添加了八处错误
where eight weaknesses were deliberately inserted into papers,
而查错仅仅发现了其中两处
but only around 25% were caught upon review.
许多科学家正在努力提高各自领域研究成果的可重现性
Many scientists are working toward improving reproducibility in their fields.
这就要求科学家们在原始数据
There’s a push to make researchers raw data,
实验程序
experimental procedures,
数据分析方面更加公开透明
and analytical techniques more openly available
来减少重现实验结果的压力
in order to ease replication efforts.
同侪审查制度也需加强
The peer review process can also be strengthened
在出版前 有效地排查掉质量欠佳的报告
to more efficiently weed out weak papers prior to publication.
我们可以营造更包容的氛围以寻找突破
And we could temper the pressure to find big results
通过鼓励出版那些无法与原始假设相符的报告
by publishing more papers that fail to confirm the original hypothesis,
报道那些与现有科学文献大相径庭的实验结果
an event that happens far more than current scientific literature suggests.
不管什么时候 科学研究总是会有一些错误的开端
Science always has, and always will, encounter some false starts
它是新理论的产生过程中的一部分
as part of the collective acquisition of new knowledge.
找寻方法来提高科学成果的重现率
Finding ways to improve the reproducibility of our results
能帮助我们更有效地排除错误的开端
can help us weed out those false starts more effectively,
指引我们稳步迈向令人振奋的新发现
keeping us moving steadily toward exciting new discoveries.

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视频概述

已发表的科学研究报告可以推动研究,完善成果,然而调查显示针对报告内容重新进行实验的成功率很低,我们该如何应对这种科学难以重现的危机呢?

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpCrY7x5nEE

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