9.401 | Fall 2022 | Graduate

Tools for Robust Science

Week 5 Challenge: Mistakes Go Uncaught and Uncorrected

The Challenge

The scientific process is supposed to accumulate better information and identify and discard mistakes and false beliefs. Incorrect information or interpretations can be introduced into the literature and persist for a while; but ideally, these errors will be found and weeded out. This week, we will talk about how mistaken or false information enters the scientific literature, how it can be prevented, how it can be found, and what happens when it is. In a later week, we will also talk about the professional incentives that promote or prevent people from correcting mistakes. 


In part 1 of your response paper, describe something you learned from these resources you didn’t already know, and/or a personal experience you’ve had that really brought home the challenge of catching and correcting mistakes and errors, in your own science or in your lab or in your field.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2022
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments