The Daily Dose: Is there a crisis with the scientific method?… Ancient civilization gave away beer for peace

The Crisis in Science: Dorothy Bishop, an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford, has taken to the pages of Nature to call out her peers regarding a crisis in irreproducibility. “More than four decades into my scientific career, I find myself an outlier among academics of similar age and seniority: I strongly identify with the movement to make the practice of science more robust,” says Bishop. She meticulously maps out four areas that are causing problems: “publication bias, low statistical power, P-value hacking and HARKing (hypothesizing after results are known).”

Sex in the Physics Department: It’s already been established that the halls of academia are far from safe-places for women from sexual harassment. A new survey confirms this. The results were published and analyzed in Physical Review Physics Education Research. “Of the 455 people who responded, 338 reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment, including gender harassment — such as being ignored because of their sex or gender, or being told inappropriate jokes — unwanted sexual attention or a combination thereof during the previous two years.”

Genetics might be ok: Scientists believe they may have taken a good step toward solving the perplexing phenomenon of missing heritability. It is problem that spans the genetic spectrum from diseases to physical traits. In this case, the researchers focused on the heritability of height within a family. The data indicated that “most of the missing heritability for height and body mass index (BMI) can… be found in rarer gene variants that had lain undiscovered until now.”

Beer keg diplomacy: What’s the best way to keep peace between potentially warring nations? According to researchers working in South America, keep them drunk. Sort of. Smithsonian reports that archaeologists working at Cerro Baúl in southern Peru, “believe the outpost—a two-to-three-week journey from the capital city of Huari—once functioned as a place of diplomacy. That’s why the site, near the border of the rival Tiwanaku culture, contained, among other things, a brewery.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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