How Methods Videos Are Making Science Smarter

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Media Outlet: The New Yorker

To Pritsker, the most significant obstacle to the successful replication of experiments is the outdated text format of traditional journals: it simply can’t cope with how elaborate experiments have become. “Complexity was always an issue,” he said. “Even when biology was a much smaller enterprise, it relied on a degree of specialized craft in the laboratory. But, since the end of the nineties, we’ve seen a huge influx of new technologies into biology: genomics, proteomics, technologies like microarrays, complex genetic methods, and sophisticated microscopy and imaging techniques.” With every innovative technique, application, or new vender selling a similar but slightly different technology or reagent, the potential for experiment-spoiling variation rises.

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Jamie Holmes is a Future Tense Fellow at New America and the author of Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing. Previously, he was a policy analyst within New America’s Global Assets Project.