Consequences of Premature Conclusions: Goofy Standing Workstations Edition

My posting this is more or less a pitiful act of pride, but I totally called it.  As soon as I saw the studies alleging that sitting for long periods of time is significantly bad for one’s health with its effects utterly unmitigated by the physical activity levels of those who are so seated, I was nearly certain they were BS.  One ought not to believe every study that comes out.  If its conclusions are extremely counter-intuitive, one ought to require gobs of proof before rushing out to buy that standing workstation.

Now, of course, this study could be reversed by the next, and that one by the next.  It must be remembered that science is a work in progress, and there have been various articles written about the problem in modern science of the lack of attempts at replicating studies.  Basically, it seems, there is so little prestige and reward involved in repeating and confirming studies that it doesn’t get done nearly enough.  As a result, attempts to repeat and confirm studies have failed at extraordinary rates.  The latest attempt made at this in the field of psychology was particularly damning, with a nearly 50% failure rate to confirm results.

I’d love to start up a replication lab whose sole task is to quickly, effectively, and to the greatest extent possible, automatically, replicate scientific experiments.  Of course, another dimension of the problem appears to be the extreme expense and complexity of many studies which make them very difficult to replicate.

The Public Replication Lab would be a great public utility, though.

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