Microparadigms in cell biology?

Textual model questions efficiency of gaining scientific knowledge

Ishani Ganguli
Mar 13, 2006
Published scientific statements, whether they are later proven true or false, have a profound effect on subsequent interpretations by researchers and on the probability that they will eventually come to a correct conclusion about a scientific question, a statistical analysis of protein interaction literature reveals. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggest that the way these "microparadigms" bias future interpretations may actually slow down the process of gaining scientific truth.The paper "sets up a very sophisticated model" to answer large-scale questions about how scientific knowledge is produced that "no one has previously been able to measure," said Neil Smalheiser at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who did not participate in this study.These findings hint that the "current way we produce and interpret results is not optimal" for scientists to ultimately converge upon the correct result, according to first...

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