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ABSTRACT

For many, digital technologies and the practices of ‘open science’ that they enable – open data, open source, open access, open notebook – promise more efficient innovation and more inclusive and trustworthy science. More open scientific practices are also proffered as solutions to the 'reproducibility crisis', antidotes to myriad questionable research practices that in part fuel the crisis. In this paper, I explore one stumbling block on the route to more open, speedy, reproducible science: interpretive flexibility in data analysis. My entry point is a controversy – dubbed Worm Wars in the media – surrounding the re-analysis of an influential global health study on the impacts of mass deworming. Through analysing the statistical (re)analyses and extensive public discussions about them, I trace some of the competing social, moral and political underpinnings of divergent analytic decisions.

BIO

Lisa Hall is an Assistant Professor in the Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. A public health physician and epidemiologist by training, her current research centres on scientific knowledge practices and uses of science in policy contexts.

Forthcoming events

Richard Doll Seminar -COVID-19: where to next?

Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 1pm to 2pm

WEH/Ethox Seminar: Consent and confidentiality in family medicine: reflections on the “ABC” case

Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 2.30pm to 4pm

This seminar will be held by Bluejeans videoconferencing, please email admin@ethox.ox.ac.uk to register. A link to the meeting will then be sent to you on the day of the seminar.