[DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in my posts are personal opinions, and they do not reflect the editorial policy of Social Psychological and Personality Science or its sponsoring associations, which are responsible for setting editorial policy for the journal.]
it can be tempting, when contemplating the onslaught that science is likely to face from the next administration and congress, to scrub away any sign of self-criticism or weakness that could be used against us. as a "softer" science, psychology has reason to be especially nervous.*but hiding our flaws is exactly the wrong response. if we do that, we will be contributing to our own demise. the best weapon anti-science people can use against us is to point to evidence that we are no different from other ways of knowing. that we have no authority when it comes to empirical/scientific questions. our authority comes from the fact that we are open to scrutiny, to criticism, to being wrong. the failed replications, and the fact that we are publishing and discussing them openly, is the best evidence we have that we are a real science. that we are different from propaganda, appeals to authority, or intuition. we are falsifiable. the proof is that we have, on occasion, falsified ourselves.we should wear our battle with replicability as a badge of honor. it's why the public should trust us to get things right, in the long run. it's why it means something when we have confidence in a scientific discovery. we should be proud of the fact that we don't take that word - discovery - lightly. we scrutinize, criticize, attempt to falsify. that's why we will survive attacks on science.yes, our failures will be used against us. we will lose some battles. but if we let those attacks scare us away from self-criticism and self-correction, we will have lost the war.when we find a flaw in our process or in our literature, we need to responsibly communicate what it means and what it doesn't mean. the failed replications i've seen in the last few years have been careful to do that. those producing these critiques and "failures" are not trying to tear us - or anyone - down. they are demonstrating just how tough we are.the next few years are going to get even more challenging, but we need to resist the temptation to give in to a bunker mentality, to shield ourselves from criticism. we need to be even more transparent, even more honest, than we have been until now. we cannot fight ignorance with secrecy, we must face it head on with openness and faith in the scientific enterprise.
* if you came here for the jokes, you're out of luck. this is a Very Serious post. mostly because my hotel room does not have a mini bar.**
** canada is, apparently, not perfect.