Historicizing the Reproducibility Crisis
(Dis)trusting Academic Science: From Evidence-Based Medicine to the “Reproducibility Crisis”
Those involved in biomedicine’s “reproducibility crisis” have argued that the present-day conversations about preclinical research are part of a longer history of reform that can be traced back to the evidence-based medicine movement. While there are continuities in the key figures and methodologies involved in both reform efforts, the distrust driving those efforts has undergone an important shift. Distrust of pharmaceutical companies and their techniques for manipulating or suppressing unfavorable results motivated reforms in the early 2000s, but a series of papers in 2011 and 2012 flipped this narrative, suggesting that pharmaceutical companies produced more reliable data than academic laboratories. This talk will explain how pharmaceutical companies who were rocked by public scandals throughout the early 2000s were nevertheless able to position themselves as authorities on the trustworthiness of academic science.