Monthly Archives: May 2010

On doing research

I was just reading the following two articles/notes. While they are not entirely about reproducible research, I think they reflect well the worries that many researchers have about current “publish or perish” research practices. Not sure I agree with all of it, but they do make a number of good remarks.

D. Geman, Ten Reasons Why Conference Papers Should be Abolished, Johns Hopkins University, Nov. 2007.

Y. Ma, Warning Signs of Bogus Progress in Research in an Age of Rich Computation and Information, ECE, University of Illinois, Nov. 2007.

Climate science

Just like many other domains, climate science is a mixture between theory, models and empirical results. Often this comes with different scientists working on the different parts (theory/model/experiments), and all claiming their part to be the (far) more important one of the three. A nice analysis is given on the IEEE Spectrum site. Unlike many other domains, it seems hard to me (not being a climate scientist) to do a lot of small experiments to validate the models. This makes it even more important to be open about the precise models used, parameters, and the data used to validate those models.

We’ve only got one planet Earth to validate models on. And it takes soooo long to check whether a model is correct, that we’d better be open about it, collaborate, check each other’s assumptions, and make sure it’s the best model we can make!

For some more discussion on the recent climate study scandal and reproducible research, see also Victoria Stodden’s blog (or also here).