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Documentary: Solutions - Open Science


In The Crisis of Science, The Corbett Report attempted to outline flaws in the modern practice of science, which included faulty research, inherent bias, the gullibility of the public, and increasing susceptibility to fraud and misconduct. After diagnosing the disease, Solutions: Open Science reveals the treatments which can best ensure a complete recovery.

One could argue that the existence of this film, and its ultimate success in raising awareness, is a good first step in curbing the crisis of foggy science. Since as many as 50% of all current scientific studies cannot be replicated by others, the design of these studies must also be overhauled to be more inclusive and independently verifiable. But these actions are just the tip of the iceberg, the film claims, as the crisis is really rooted in the structure of science itself.

According to the film, the science industry is an elitist endeavour. A more open structure needs to be set in place - a revitalized brand of "citizen science" - in order to regain a sense of transparency and trustworthiness in the system. Oftentimes, scientists will sign away the copyright on their studies to corporate interests. Their work will then be locked away if they contain unflattering data, or will only be made available to those who are willing to pay a hefty fee. By allowing for greater access to the masses, such as an automatic release of studies on the internet, we can decrease these incidents of cover-up and profit motive. This approach is particularly valuable when applied to studies related to the environment or other health-related topics.

Of course, before these changes can occur, there must be a profound shift in the way we perceive modern-day scientists as the absolute arbiters of truth and neutrality. The more eyes that are on their work, the more accountability they will have to the public. Open science also invites more collaboration as informed members in the public sector can test and build upon the findings of any given study.

Featuring conversations with insightful and deeply informed members and critics of the scientific community, Solutions: Open Science prescribes an inventive remedy to a crisis that ultimately impacts us all.
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