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We must be open about our mistakes

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Greater transparency about the scientific process and a closer focus on correcting defective data are the way forward, says Jim Woodgett.

There is increasing unrest in global science. The number of retractions is rising, new examples of poor oversight or practice are being uncovered and anxiety is building among researchers. Those of us who work in the life sciences are discovering that some of our basic premises are flawed or inaccurate ā€” cell lines have been misidentified and drug metabolism in animal models misjudged. Even high-profile findings have been questioned. Building on solid foundations was an architectural principle understood by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, yet we may be constructing our castles on swampland. Is it a surprise that clinical translation fails so often?

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