Public Events

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Each semester over three years, beginning in Fall 2019, we will hold public events to have wider conversations about reproducibility, efficiency, and the trustworthiness of scientific research. Events have been delayed or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent Events

Thursday, February 10, 2022, 4:30-6:00 pm, 314 Pillsbury Hall and on Zoom.
email [email protected] for Zoom link

A practicing biologist's perspective on reproducibility and science reform


Pamela Reinagel, Department of Neurobiology, University of California, San Diego

In recent years there has been much discussion of rigor, reliability and reproducibility in the scientific community. Less often does one hear a discussion of what these terms mean or why they are the correct measures of value in science. Some metascience analyses, reproducibility projects, and proposed science reforms appear to make naive assumptions about the goals, methods, and products of biological basic research -- particularly where these differ from the social sciences or the more public-facing clinical branches of biology. Drawing on nearly four decades at the bench, this talk will share one biologist's perspective on how biologists actually draw conclusions from experiments, what kinds of conclusions those are, what factors influence our judgements about their validity, certainty, or generality, and what attributes of biological systems necessitate or facilitate these particular approaches. I will focus on the implications for how we risk reaching wrong conclusions, whether or how we discover such errors, how the rigor of a single contribution or an entire field might be reasonably communicated or assessed, and what new practices could serve to improve the value of biology research. I'll argue that the relationship between Biology and Statistics is so problematic it needs a complete reboot. Meanwhile, the highly qualitative and integrative nature of inferential reasoning in Biology, with its strong dependence on deep, domain-specific theoretical and technical knowledge, presents a severe impediment to non-expert assessments or formulaic reforms.  Philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science are all needed here: the better we could describe, codify, justify, and communicate our diverse scientific methods, the better we could do our work, educate new generations of scientists, and earn public trust.

Previous public events

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Conversations about Science and Society: What happens when scientific findings conflict?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 7-8:30 pm

Conversations about Science and Society: What happens when scientific findings conflict?

Panelists: Natalie Clare Herbert (Earth Systems Science and Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University): Alexander J. Rothman (Psychology); Rebekah H. Nagler, (Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication)

Progress in science is often marked by studies that report similar results and studies that report conflicting results. Yet, media coverage of scientific findings often underscores conflict and controversy—a tendency that is particularly true of issues related to health or the environment, and something that has been evident in recent discussions of reproducibility in the sciences. What happens when we are exposed to conflicting scientific information? Does it lead us to be more engaged with this information? Does it make us feel overwhelmed by the information and less trustful of both science and the media that reports on it? Join us for a conversation about these issues and ongoing research designed to help us map what happens when we think about and discuss conflicting scientific information.

A recording of this event is available on the MCPS YouTube channel.

Questions About Reproducibility in an Age of Big Data

IRSA Conference May 6-8, 2021

Questions About Reproducibility in an Age of Big Data

The reproducibility of scientific studies with small sample sizes has always been a concern. But what about large sample sizes? How do we think about questions of reproducibility in this age of big data?

More details:

Responsible Conduct of Research: Reproducibility

Winchell Research Symposium & Annual Meeting
Virtual Symposium, April 24, 2021

Working with the Minnesota Academy of Sciences (; Amy Riegelman and Wanda Marsolek gave a recorded presentation: 
Responsible Conduct of Research:  Reproducibility 
This 22-minute video is available here.

Conversations about Science and Society: COVID-19 Clinical Trials and Reproducibility

Tuesday, October 6, 2021, 7-8:30 pm

Conversations about Science and Society: COVID-19 Clinical Trials and Reproducibility

Panelists: David Boulware (Infectious Diseases and International Medicine); Susan Kline (Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine); Michael Puskarich (Emergency Medicine); Radha Rajasingham (Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine)

Moderator: Alan C. Love (Philosophy)

The reliability of scientific research depends on whether it is reproducible, but the process of replicating results takes time. Under emergency circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, this can seem burdensome. How should we understand reproducibility in the context of clinical trials related to COVID-19? Does it matter whether investigators concentrate on prevention, treatment, or reducing the severity of the disease? Do emergency circumstances change how we think about the process of replicating results? On Tuesday October 6th, 2020, the Many Faces of Reproducibility project in collaboration with the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science hosted an online conversation with four panelists who are leading COVID-19 clinical trials at the University of Minnesota to explore questions about scientific reproducibility at the intersection of science and society.

Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 7 pm. online webinar.

Conversations about Science and Society: Personality, Sex, and Reproducibility

Featured speakers: Colin DeYoung (Psychology, University of Minnesota) and Marlene Zuk (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota)

Scientific studies help explain how people act and behave. But sometimes these studies show different results when repeated on different populations. What expectations should we have for studies of personality and sexual behavior? And how much can we generalize across groups, or even across species? Join us for a conversation about reproducibility in the contexts of psychological studies of personality, biological studies of sexual behavior, and how we think about the intersection of science and society.

Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 6 pm.

Location: Day Block Brewing Co, 1105 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415


Light refreshments available.

Event flyer

Faces of the speakers at the event: Marlene Zuk and Colin DeYoung


During the Spring 2020 semester the Many Faces of Reproducibility collaborators had intended working with the Minnesota Academy of Sciences ( As the State Science Fair will now be held online ( we have provided a handout ( as an alternative to the in-person presentation originally planned.