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The Experiment Experiment 

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years.

Photo of a young man in front of a steaming beaker full of green fluid, wearing a T-shirt that reads “Science: it works, bitches.”

It does work. But it’s super tricky.

The Planet Money podcast did a terrific episode about science’s file drawer effect, and other ways that seemingly good science can be surprisingly wrong. They tell the story of Brian Nosek’s Reproducibility Project: do-overs for 100 well-known psychology experiments, which found that a majority of could not be replicated.

Not all science is so uncertain and unsettled, but psychology is particularly messy and difficult, and medical science is also probably more prone to this problem than physics, and even worse with musculoskeletal medicine. This is why I’m really not kidding around when I say that “one study means nothing” … especially if it’s one study produced by people who have something to prove or an ax to grind. Here’s a laughably perfect example: “proof” that a fascia-focused treatment works, reported without a trace of critical thinking.

This is the MICROBLOG: small posts about interesting stuff that comes up while I’m updating & upgrading dozens of featured articles on PainScience.com. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. Sorry, no email subscription option at this time, but it’s in the works.