The Solution to Science's Replication Crisis
7 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 5, 2016
The solution to science's replication crisis is a new ecosystem in which scientists sell what they learn from their research. In each pairwise transaction, the information seller makes (loses) money if he turns out to be correct (incorrect). Responsibility for the determination of correctness is delegated, with appropriate incentives, to the information purchaser. Each transaction is brokered by a central exchange, which holds money from the anonymous information buyer and anonymous information seller in escrow, and which enforces a set of incentives facilitating the transfer of useful, bluntly honest information from the seller to the buyer. This new ecosystem, capitalist science, directly addresses socialist science's replication crisis by explicitly rewarding accuracy and penalizing inaccuracy.
The problematic incentives within socialist science that have led to socialist science's replication crisis are too embedded to remove. Those seeking accurate knowledge to inform important, high stakes decisions will gradually start to rely on capitalist science, which penalizes the selling of information that turns out to be wrong. Researchers with genuinely valuable information will choose to sell it rather than publish it away for free. The most useful, interesting, and accurate information will therefore gradually move from the ecosystem of socialist science to the ecosystem of capitalist science, where it is properly valued.
Capitalist science is the solution to socialist science's replication crisis.
Keywords: science reproducibility, replication, retraction crisis, incentives, rewards, data sharing, research policy
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