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SCIENCE IN THE HANDS OF SCIENTISTS: The Meandering Path Toward Truth

Sunday, June 4, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EST

As a discipline, science aspires to be an evidence-based, non-partisan tool for revealing truth. But science is carried out by scientists, human beings like the rest of us, subject to pressures, preconceptions, and biases. What are the external, non-scientific forces that impact scientific research? Does the current research structure — from government and foundation grant making to peer review and the stiff competition for limited funding — drive focus away from the scientific objective of unbiased exploration? What lessons can we draw from the recent crisis of reproducibility afflicting some research areas? Join an open discussion focused on the myriad factors scientists face in a highly competitive environment as they seek to uphold and advance the ideals of scientific exploration.

Background image courtesy of Shutterstock.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Carl ZimmerJournalist, Author

Carl Zimmer is an award-winning columnist for the New York Times and the author of 13 books about science. His reporting has earned awards from the National Academies of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and the Online Journalism Association.

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Dany Spencer AdamsDevelopmental Biologist, Author

Dany Spencer Adams explores how ions moving among cells act as signals during regeneration, development, and cancer. She has uncovered evidence that bioelectric signals can trigger and regulate diverse complex processes that include gene expression changes.

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Mariette DiChristinaEditor

Mariette DiChristina is Director of Editorial & Publishing for Nature Research Magazines, overseeing the global editorial teams for Nature magazine, Partnership & Custom Media and Scientific American, for which she also serves as editor in chief.

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Ivan OranskyJournalist

Ivan Oransky, MD, is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute, co-founder of Retraction Watch, and editor at large of MedPage Today. Previously, he was executive editor of Reuters Health and held editorial positions at Scientific American and The Scientist.

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Massimo PigliucciBiologist, Philosopher

Massimo Pigliucci is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He works on philosophy of science and on the nature of pseudoscience. His latest book is How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life (Basic Books).

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