Where are the self-correcting mechanisms in science?

Course description

Please join us for a presentation by Professor Simine Vazire (University of Melbourne) about the value, limits and signs of self-correction in science. 

We often hear the self-correcting mechanisms in science invoked as a reason to trust science, but it is not always clear what these mechanisms are.

Some quality control mechanisms, such as peer review for journals, or vetting for textbooks or for public dissemination, have recently been found not to provide much of a safeguard against invalid claims. Instead, Prof Vazire argues that we should look for visible signs of a scientific community's commitment to self-correction. These signs include:

  • transparency in the research and peer review process,
  • investment in error detection and quality control, and
  • an emphasis on calibration rather than popularization.

We should trust scientific claims more to the extent that they were produced by communities that have these hallmarks of credibility. Fields that are more transparent, rigorous, and calibrated should earn more trust. Metascience can provide scientists and the public with valuable information in assessing the credibility of scientific fields.

About your speaker: Professor Simine Vazire

Simine Vazire is a professor in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has two lines of research. One examines people's self-knowledge of their personality and behaviour and another examines the individual and institutional practices and norms in science, and the degree to which these norms encourage or impede scientific self-correction. She co-founded the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) and has been editor of a number of journals. She is the incoming Editor in Chief of Psychological Science.   

Logistics for the session

This session will be held in-person in the Noel Stockdale Room, L1, Central Library or online via MS Teams. You will be sent a calendar invitation closer to the date.

If you have any questions, please email researcherpd.rds@flinders.edu.au.

Type of course

Information session

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