Replicability of results. A problem we choose to ignore.

Can companies rely on the results of one or two scientific studies to design a new industrial process or launch a new product? In at least one area of materials chemistry, the answer may be yes – but only 80 percent of the time.

The replicability of results from scientific studies has become a major source of concern in the research community, particularly in the social sciences and biomedical sciences. But many researchers in the fields of engineering and the hard sciences haven’t felt the same level of concern for independent validation of their results.

A new study that compared the results reported in thousands of papers published about the properties of metal organic framework (MOF) materials – which are prominent candidates for carbon dioxide adsorption and other separations – suggests the replicability problem should be a concern for materials researchers, too.

One in five studies of MOF materials examined by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology were judged to be “outliers,” with results far beyond the error bars normally used to evaluate study results. The thousands of research papers yielded just nine MOF compounds for which four or more independent studies allowed appropriate comparison of results. (1)

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We like to believe science and data are reliable.

But real life has nothing to do with science and data.

Everything changes. There is chaos everywhere.

And yet, we see order. Order not existing out there. But inside us.

There is nothing to replicate.

Nothing stays the same.

It was us from the very beginning.

Seeing similarities in dissimilar situations.

Because deep inside us we know…

That this is the only thing we should be seeing…

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