Understanding Replication Across the Sciences

October 12, 2018 - October 14, 2018
Rotman Institute of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario

Western Interdisciplinary Research Building
1151 Richmond Street North
London N6A 5B7

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  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Department of Philosophy, Western University
  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Western University
  • Faculty of Social Sciences, Western University
  • Faculty of Science, Western University
  • Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University


University of Western Ontario
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
University of Western Ontario

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Currently, there is a widespread perception that scientific activity is in the middle of a (so-called) ‘reproducibility’ or ‘replication crisis’. Many important findings published in leading scientific journals have turned out to be difficult or impossible to replicate. The ongoing controversy surrounding the reproducibility of scientific activity threatens to undermine the authority of science. The extent and severity of the ‘replication crisis’ are being continuously evaluated. It seems, however, that these discussions, rather than revealing the existence of a fatal flaw at the heart of modern scientific activity, show that our general understanding of the complexities surrounding the replication and reproducibility of experimental findings and experimental procedures is rather limited. The very concept of and the methodological strategies for experimental replication have in fact received little analysis.

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together philosophers and scientists to reflect on the current controversy surrounding the replication of scientific research. The overall goal will be to understand in more detail the nature of experimental replication, and to address the failure to replicate in scientific activity. More specifically, the conference will address the following questions: What does it mean to replicate an experimental procedure? What does it mean to replicate an experimental result? What are the criteria for a successful replication? What are the reasons for replicating an experiment? What is the epistemic importance of replication? How does replication compare with other methodological strategies that scientists use to confirm and validate their experimental procedures and results? How do the answers to these questions differ across disciplines? How have the answers to these questions changed through time?

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October 5, 2018, 7:00pm EST

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Custom tags:

#replication, #replication crisis, #experiment, #scientific practice