Empirical science is reeling. In the past five years, in fields from biomedicine to social psychology, top journals have upended canonical studies by showing their results cannot be reproduced.
A review of 100 major psychology studies, for instance, found only 36% had statistical significance. Over half the alien planets identified by Nasa’s Kepler telescope turned out to be stars. And in preclinical cancer research, a mere six out of 53 breakthrough studies were found to be reproducible.